Focus 2003

The Holy Land - MOR30-09-2003

Project: Opera Gesù Bambino - Salesian Technical School
Date of foundation: Began with Fr. Belloni in 1863. In 1891 it was handed over to the Salesians
Place: Bethleheme
Province: Middle East (MOR) - This year the province completes one hundred years

Technical school: Wood turning - Electronics - Radio TV
Three year course ending with Technical leaving certificate.
Pupils: From 150 to 200. Around 30 graduate each year. Muslim and Christian students.
Professional Training courses: Wood turning - Single and three-phase electronics - Carpentry - Industrial electronics - Motor mechanics - Computer - PLC - CNC
Pupils: 150 or thereabouts each year, youths and adults, Christians and Muslims.
Oratory - Youth Centre - open daily in Summer holidays, for boys and girls, mainly Christians.- From 200 to 300.
Public Church - Sacred Heart
Bakery - Since the outbreak of the second Intifada, free bread distribution to around 250/300 families.
International Museum of the Nativity - Inactive due to the political situation.
Salesian personnel: * confreres- 7 priests and one Brother.
Lay helpers: 13 - nine Christians and four Muslims
Rector: Fr. Prospero Roero


Name of Institute: : St. Paul Theological Institute
Date founded: 1886 with Fr. Antonio Belloni, then a Salesian; 1891 arrival of the Salesians.
Place: Cremisan
Province: Middle East (MOR)

Cremisan is a border location, which is one of its difficulties, 5 km from Bethlehem and 12 from Jerusalem. It is the site for an Institute with around 50 Salesians from 19 nations: 30 are students of theology, ordained after four years.

There is also a small winery with Cremisan Wines, the funds realized help to provide bursaries for our seminarians and work for 25 workers, whom we haven’t licenced because of their families
Rector: Fr. Joseph Giorgis


History of our Works in the Holy Land:
The Middle East province came about in 1902 11 years after the Salesians had already arrived at Bethlehem, called there by Canon Antonio Belloni, founder of the “Work of the Holy Family”. Worried about the future of the institute, he decided to hand over to the Salesians the work at Bethlehem, Cremisan and Beit Gemal, and Don Rua accepted. That was the beginning of the history of the Congregation in the Middle East, a none too tranquil history.

There have been few periods of any real peace.On the contrary, difficult times have really never ceased: the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the birth of Turkey, the First World War, the difficulties of fusion with Fr. Belloni’s religious family, the Italo-French rivalry due to the French protectorate in the area, the Italo-Turkish conflict, the Second World War, the hotly contested birth of the State of Israel, the subsequent wars, the intifada…

The Salesians are still in the land of Jesus and in five other nations: Iran, The Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Syria, and there is also a programme in Iraq. 18 presences with around 140 confreres, including theology students, make up the group.

As proof of the goodness of their work, a Salesian Brother, Simon Srugi, apostle to Beit Gemal, has been raised to the honour of the Altar. The Salesians give witness to their charism through ongoing initiatives.

Salesian Houses in the Holy Land are: Beit Gemal [1926], Bethlehem [1926], Cremisan [1926], Nazareth [1926].

Address: Salesian Province MOR
Rehov Ain Het, 18 - P.O.B. 10141
91101 JERUSALEM (Israele)
Tel: 972.2.27440.22 (Provincial)
Web site: