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Holy Family Hospital Tag Day

Peter Ainsworth, Staff Contributor

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On September 29th, 2017, Oratory students broke the school tag day record by raising over $1,950 for the Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem.  The tag day was set up and run by Father Sal DiStefano with the help of Patrick Heffernan, Joseph D’Angelo, Joseph Meade, Joseph Moran, Thomas Snyder, Conor Maenpaa, Peter Ainsworth, and the Saint Philip Neri Service Club.

The Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem is located a mere 500 yards from the birthplace of Christ and is the primary program of the Holy Family Hospital of Bethlehem Foundation.  This Catholic Hospital is a state-of-the-art maternity and neonatal critical care center that serves poor women, infants, and children throughout the West Bank of Palestine.  In this region of conflict, the Hospital stands as a beacon of hope for impoverished families in the Bethlehem region along with surrounding desert villages and U.N. Refugee Camps.  The Hospital and its Outreach Clinics provide the highest quality care to all, regardless of religion, ethnicity, or ability to pay.  Therefore, no one is ever turned away.

Father Sal has been involved with the Holy Family Hospital for three years now through his position as a Chaplain for the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, also known as the Knights of Malta. Fr. Sal was invited by Susie Moran, a Dame of Malta and the grandmother of Joseph Moran.  The only way to enter the order is by invitation.  

The Order of Malta is the oldest order of chivalry in the Roman Catholic Church.  Founded in 1099, the Hospitallers, as they were known, provided both hospitality and defense for pilgrims in Jerusalem.  From their earliest days, they have shown particular concern for the welfare of the poor and the sick.  Today, the Order’s international headquarters is located in Rome, and it has diplomatic relations with over one-hundred countries as a permanent observer at the UN.

The most remarkable thing about this tag day was the amount raised: over $1,950.  This means that student had to go above and beyond and donate more than the required $5.  The real credit goes to all of the students for making this happen and supporting the Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem.

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