Photovoltaic solar panels were installed at St. Catherine’s Covenant and Church in Bethlehem last week.
The panels were installed under the oversight of Brother Francesco Patton, Custos of the Holy Land.
“The importance of this project lies in the fact that it is a pioneering environmental project,” said Patton. “It is in line with what Pope Francis says in his encyclical ‘praise be to you’ about caring for creation.”
In July, Pope Francis asked Christians of all denominations to observer a month of “ecological conversion” between September 1, 2022 and October 4, 2022 – the World Day of Prayer for the Integrity of Creation and St. Francis Day, respectively.
“Praise be to you, my Lord, with all your creatures,” the pope said in his message. “This canticle of St. Francis of Assisi is accompanied today by a bitter cry: that of the Earth, which begs us to stop its destruction.”
Christian voices, especially Catholic voices, are expected to be loud at COP 27, which begins on Sunday in Egypt.
The Bethlehem project has a capacity of 155 kilowatts, equivalent to an annual production of 255,000 kilowatt hours. Solar generation at the complex is one of the Custody of Hoyland’s projects to preserve the environment.
Patton said that similar projects are expected to be carried out in Lebanon and Syria, where electricity is sometimes available only for several hours a day.