Established in 2004, Our Lady of Peace center was founded to provide free daily services in a loving environment for those with disabilities, regardless of religion, social, or financial background. The initiative was one of the first in Jordan where, unfortunately, the handicap issue is still widely underestimated.
In Jordan, 13% of the population are disabled. In order to address this reality and the high number of patients who were unable to obtain services at the public centers, young Christians and Muslims united to establish a pro-active committee. With this fruitful collaboration, the members organized many events, from courses, seminars, and medical days, to marches through the streets in cooperation with the government, universities, and medical/rehabilitation centers.
In 2004, Our Lady of Peace Center was officially founded under the patronage of Mgr Selim Sayegh, the emeritus bishop of Amman. In the following years, the center grew extensively, expanding his humanitarian programs to include educational opportunities and medical services.
Four years after OLOPC was established, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, visited and officially consecrated the Good Sheppard Church which sits beside the rehabilitation facilities. Our Lady of Peace Center has also been graced with visits from his Holiness Pope John Paul II, the Jordanian royal family, and numerous community leaders.
Currently OLOPC offers a wide range of services for those who are mentally and physically disabled (link to What we do for disabled people). In addition to the main center in Amman, OLOPC has five other branches in districts throughout Jordan. Every year the center welcomes around two thousand people with disabilities. Today it remains the largest, free of charge center for rehabilitation in Jordan. Additionally, OLOPC houses Iraqi refugees, hosts youth camps, holds peace building seminars, and runs a guesthouse. The mission of the Our Lady of Peace Center is to continue to increase its services in order to serve all in need.
Our Lady of Peace center is an excellent example of interreligious dialogue in the Middle East. In Jordan it has become the greatest motivator in leading Christians and Muslims to work together, creating not only dialogue but co-action on behalf of the children.
We are thankful to all who support our hard work and continue to collaborate with us in order that we reach our future goals. The message that OLOPC sends out is clear, we are here to serve ALL with true love and charity.
- Free of harge services | Charity work and services
- Dialogue | Consolidate the sense of humanity nationality and spirituality
- Increase Awareness | The rights of people with disability
Principles of the Center:
- Humanitarian Principle:
The People with Disabilities are a human being. He has the right to live in dignity. Regardless of the financial or health conditions of any person, he does not lose his dignity or human rights. Jesus said: “Treat people the way you want them to treat you.” We believe that each person has a treasure of love that we can invest to benefit people with special needs.
- The National Principle:
People with Disabilities are citizens who have rights like any other citizen in this country. We should support and help them to play their role and take their rights in the society and the country.
- Spiritual Principle:
The Jordanian Society, including Christians and Muslims, is a religious society. The two religions have many differences. However, they both share a common ground. Christians and Muslims believe in God that God is the source of human beings’ dignity, and that He is merciful Launching from these principles, Christians and Muslims work together for the service of people with special needs.
Aims of the Center:
The Centre aims at improving the living conditions of People with Disabilities (PWD) in Jordan by spreading awareness in Jordanian society of the rights of PWD and our duty to respect them, their human dignity, and their right to live a decent life in their family, society and country. The Centre and its branches, sub-centers, and committees work to support the right of children with human development disabilities through focused and integrated interventions with the disabled people themselves, their families, and various components of society.
In 1099, the Western crusaders captured Jerusalem, set up the Kingdom of Jerusalem and established a Latin hierarchy under a Latin Patriarch (in communion with Rome), while expelling the Orthodox Patriarch. The Latin Patriarch resided in Jerusalem from 1099 to 1187, while Orthodox Patriarchs continued to be appointed, but resided in Constantinople. In 1187, the Crusaders were forced to flee Jerusalem, and the Latin Patriarchy moved to Acre, while the Orthodox Patriarch returned to Jerusalem. With the fall of Acre, the Latin Patriarch moved to Cyprus in 1291. From 1374, the Catholic Church continued to appoint titular Patriarchs of Jerusalem, who were based in Rome.
A resident Latin Patriarch was re-established in 1847 by Pius X, with Bishop Joseph Valerga being appointed to the office. It was during this time that the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem started it own schools in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and over the years it remained dedicated to its various missions ranging from educational opportunities, social and medical services, and humanitarian assistance, which are offered to citizens from all religious backgrounds. When Valerga's died in 1872, Vincent Braco was appointed, and following his death in 1889, the Ottoman Sultan authorized the re-establishment of a Latin hierarchy. The Grand Masters of the Order continued to be named as Latin Patriarchs until 1905.
The co-cathedral of the Most Holy Name of Jesus is the principal Church of the Latin Patriarchate. However, the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre has the title of cathedral of the patriarchate. The residence of the Patriarch is in the old city, near the Co-Cathedral, while the Seminary, which is responsible for the liturgical education, is in Beit Jala, a town 10 km south of Jerusalem, where it has been since 1936.
In 1987, Michel Sabbah became the first native Palestinian to be appointed Latin Patriarch. The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem is now the diocesan archbishop of Latin Catholics of the Archdiocese of Jerusalem and has jurisdiction for all Latin Church Catholics in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan and Cyprus.
Source: Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Wikipedia