Fr. Peter Vasko, ofm, is a Franciscan of the Holy Land who is President of the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land. He speaks on the crisis Christians face in the Holy Land and how the work of the FFHL helps to safeguard the Christian presence in the Holy Land through education, housing, university scholarships and 11 others programs.
Father Peter F. Vasko, a native New Yorker, entered the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land in 1981, after a ten-year career in marketing and public relations.
Fr. Peter attended The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he majored in philosophy and theology. He later attended DukeUniversity in North Carolina for graduate studies in anthropology and received additional training in archaeology at the Franciscan Stadium Biblicum in Jerusalem.
Fr. Peter was ordained to the deaconate in Jerusalem and, in 1987 was ordained to the priesthood in Washington, DC. Prior to his seminary training, he was a member of the Jaycees, Rotary International and the Public Relations Society of America. He is a former member of the St. Ives Society, an organization assisting in the civil rights of Palestinian people.
Fr. Peter has served three consecutive terms on the governing board of the Franciscan Custody in the Holy Land which represents six Middle East countries.He was recently re-elected as the English Definitor for the same governing board. He served on both the Custody’s Finance and Sanctuary Boards and was formerly editor of the Holy Land Review, a quarterly archaeological, biblical and historical overview of the Holy Land.
Actively involved in the international diplomatic community in Jerusalem, Fr. Peter serves as a liaison and guide for the White House through the U.S. Embassy, as well as with the municipality of Jerusalem. He also serves as Chaplain for the U.S. Marine Security Guard for the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem.
Presently, Fr. Peter is President of the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land, an organization created to provide a worldwide voice for Christians living in the Holy Land and to ensure the continued Christian presence in the area.
With extensive live interview experience for both secular and religious media, Fr. Peter has developed a reputation as a skilled and versatile communicator. He is a compelling spokesman and public speaker, who has addressed many Catholic organizations including Legatus International, Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre, Knights of Columbus, and Serra Club. Fr. Peter has appeared on several television specials about the Holy Land that were aired on Discovery Channel, BBC, NBC and CBS and many national radio talk shows. He has been a guest on EWTN’s “Mother Angelica Live” and “The World Over” on numerous occasions. He has also appeared on The 700 Club to address issues concerning the Christian exodus in the Holy Land and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He was named one of the “Top Ten People in the Catholic Church” in the January 2006 issue of Inside the Vatican magazine.
He is author of “See the Holy Land”, a photo essay of Israel/Palestine and just finished a new second edition named ‘Our Visit to the Holy Land'. In addition, he has also completed a 75-minute video about the Holy Land, entitled “On the Road to Christ.” Fr. Peter was also instrumental in the production of “Turning Point: Crisis in the Holy Land,” a television video documentary about the Christian exodus from the Holy Land, and was narrator for the video, “The Life of Jesus: a Scriptural Journey in the Holy Land.”
In July 2007, Fr. Peter co-produced with EWTN a ten part television mini-series on the Holy Land entitled: "The Holy Land with Fr. Peter F. Vasko, OFM”, which covers the Holy Sites of Christianity, interviews with prominent Christians, the history and issues of the Holy Land and the work of the Franciscan Foundation. His speaking engagements on the Middle East and the Holy Land have taken him to Europe, Africa and throughout the United States. Since then he has appeared on EWTN many more times.
Fr. Peter continues to travel to the United States twice per year. His speaking schedule is limited. Please contact at least 6 months before intended date so accomodations can be made.