Neonatal Intensive Care offered in Bethlehem
Measured in time, two thousand years separate the Holy Family Hospital and the birthplace of Christ. In space, the distance is just 1500 steps. The state of the art hospital exists to serve Palestinian and other women in childbirth with a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for infants born premature or otherwise unwell.
This Roman Catholic hospital, like the manger, is a reminder of the precious value of a newborn baby. The baby Jesus was laid in the manger because “there was no room in the inn.” The premature, underdeveloped Palestinian babies receive the intimate care of professional teams and modern technology. There was no room in the inn for the baby Jesus, but there is always room at the HFH for children in need.
Holy Family Hospital is the only Catholic Hospital in the area. It is a training hospital teaching obstetrics/gynecology residents and pediatric residents. It embraces its pro-life mission by being the only facility in the region able to deliver and care for very premature babies born before 32 weeks’ gestation. It is located 1,500 steps from the manger where the Christ Child was born. There is always room and the door is always open serving all without regard to creed or need.
Peace, Hope and Love in Bethlehem
Ms. Burke-Bowe continues by explaining the mentality that shapes the mission and values of the Bethlehem hospital:
Yes. The babies are all received as the Christ Child and the parents are treated like the parents of Jesus. Life is sacred in the Holy Land. Abortion is not legal in Palestine. While Jesus was born in a crude stable, the babies of our hospital are cared for by highly trained Palestinian doctors and nurses in a state of the art facility which regularly saves the lives of babies as small as one pound.
Bethlehem is in the shadow of Jerusalem, the eternal City of Peace. Here in the midst of the troubled Middle East, a group of Catholic Christians are creating a place of peace, a haven of love, care and hope.
The Prophet Isaiah foretells the coming of the Messiah, the Prince of Peace:
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
As Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Christ and pray for His return, the staff and medical professional of Holy Family Hospital are manifesting, in the midst of a war-torn region, something of the peace that comes with the return of the Prince of Peace.
For more on the work of this hospital, go here.
- Darrow Miller