For Immediate Release
Founder of Houston-based Nativity Pilgrimage Donates $50,000 to Church Restoration in Sri Lanka, in Memory of Colleague Nicola Al-Shaer
Khaled Bahnan “Jacoub”, founder of Nativity Pilgrimage, committed $50,000.00 to church restoration efforts in Sri Lanka to honor the memory of Nicola Al-Shaer, his colleague and dear friend. Al-Shaer’s life ended tragically as a result of an accident on Good Friday, April 19th, 2019. As Jacoub contemplated the solemn aftermath of the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka, where Christians were killed as they were receiving the Holy Eucharist, he was moved to contribute significant funds to restore the two Churches in Sri Lanka.
The deadly blasts in the Archdiocese of Colombo, Sri Lanka, devastated St. Anthony’s Shrine in Kochchikade, Colombo, and St. Sebastian’s Church in Katuwapitiya, Negombo. St. Anthony’s Shrine is located in the city of Colombo and attracts thousands of faithful seeking to honor St. Anthony of Padua. St. Sebastian’s Church is a renowned church in an area known as “Little Rome” for its large number of Catholics and Catholic churches.
“Many people have sent funds to restore the beautiful Notre Dame in Paris, but fewer will recognize the Archdiocese of Colombo of Sri Lanka, who has suffered many deaths as a consequence of the eight explosions on Easter Sunday morning. I wanted to memorialize, my dear friend and colleague, Nicola, by giving a gift to help restore the Churches. Nicola was a gifted and talented young man, who tragically died at the age of 26. He had all the hopes and dreams of any young man his age, but God decided to take him from us. He worked as an engineer and also organized all the Holy Land pilgrimages for Nativity Pilgrimage. Recently, I set up Nativity Cares Foundation to help different Christian organizations in their mission. We will help restore the Catholic Churches in Sri Lanka and provide an opportunity for others to give. It is difficult to digest the brutality of the attacks on innocent people on a day like the Lord’s resurrection. Reflecting over more than 350 deaths of precious lives of the innocents and more than 500 injured victims is very heart breaking. What consoles me is that Easter is a time for hope. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims. We pray and ask the risen Christ to comfort those in sorrow and heal those who are injured”, commented Khaled Jacoub.
Nativity Pilgrimage is a family owned and operated Christian-based Travel and Tours Company in Houston, Texas. The pilgrimage provides a life-changing spiritual excursions to the Holy Land, Europe and Mexico.