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Current Issue
June, 2018
Volume 44, Number 2
  
4 May 2018
Greg Kandra




Sister Femily of the Sisters of the Destitute in Marayoor, India, leads a self-help group for adults. Discover how she and other sisters are Breaking the Cycle of addiction and alcoholism in Kerala in the March 2017 edition of ONE. (photo: Don Duncan)



Tags: India Sisters

4 May 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro




Posters of candidates for the upcoming Lebanese parliamentary elections hang on the walls of buildings in the northern Lebanese city Tripoli's Bab al Tabbaneh Sunni neighborhood on 3 May. (photo: Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images)

Lebanese voters want change; few expect it (New York Times) Voters across Lebanon will vote in parliamentary elections on Sunday for the first time in nine years, and many of them are fed up. The country’s crises are many: a million Syrian refugees are straining public services; a shaky economy is increasingly teetering; garbage is piling up; fear is spreading of a new war between Hezbollah and Israel; and the political class has failed to find solutions…

UNICEF: Children bear the brunt as violence escalates in Gaza (U.N. News) Highlighting the devastating impact of the humanitarian crisis and increasing violence on Gaza’s children, the United Nations Children’s Fund has called on all parties with influence on the ground to prioritize their protection…

Gaza protests: Latest updates (Al Jazeera) Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip are protesting for the sixth Friday in a row as part of the Great March of Return movement. The rallies are part of a six-week protest that will culminate on 15 May to mark what Palestinians refer to as the “Nakba” or “catastrophe” — a reference to Israel’s establishment in 1948 and when 750,000 Arabs were forcibly removed from Palestine. Since the protests began on March 30, at least 41 Palestinians in the coastal enclave have been killed by Israeli forces and more than 7,000 wounded…

In rural Jordan, pulling power from the wind to make change on the ground (Christian Science Monitor) In a troubled tribal town in Jordan, residents are turning to wind energy to lift the region up from underdevelopment, unemployment, and unrest, and as a model for green energy…

‘Anti-conversion law’ approved in the state of Uttarakhand (Fides) Uttarakhand, in northern India, has become the seventh state of the Indian Federation to have approved an “anti-conversion law,” a tool often used by Hindu extremists to accuse Christians of “forced or fraudulent conversion”…

Syria rebels hand over arms in new deal with government (Al Monitor) Syrian rebels on Friday were surrendering their heavy weapons for the second day after agreeing with the government a new deal to withdraw from central towns, a war monitor said…



Tags: Syria India Lebanon Gaza Strip/West Bank Jordan

3 May 2018
Elias D. Mallon, S.A., Ph.D.




Construction workers lift wet concrete onto the roof of a new development in Kottayam, India. (photo: Peter Lemieux)

CNEWA works in many places where unemployment, long working hours and insufficient wages are endemic. The reasons for these conditions are varied: lack of opportunity, poor or no education, a culture of exploitation. CNEWA supports schools, vocation programs and job training to help people find work that promotes the common good of society and the good of families. This is accomplished by creating a situation in which workers can find dignity in their work and a just wage, which allows them and their families to enjoy the fruits of their work.

Work and human dignity are subjects long at the heart of Catholic social teaching — and they are subjects that gain renewed attention every year around “May Day,” marked on 1 May. On the Catholic liturgical calendar, this is also the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. Both of these observances are relatively recent.

The 19th century — with the technological advantages of the Industrial Revolution, the social disruption of large numbers of people moving to cities to find work and other forces — witnessed the rise of what we call, for lack of a better term, “the workers movement.”

Of course, there had always been workers — often slaves or semi-free serfs — but the conditions of the 19th century provided conditions different from what had been before. Dangerous and oppressive working conditions were common. One need only recall the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York on 25 March 1911. In that fire 146 people — some as young as 14 — died because the employers had locked them in to prevent them taking unpermitted breaks. The Haymarket Riots on 4 May 1886 started as peaceful demonstrations of workers asking for an eight-hour workday. It ended up with several workers and police being killed by bombs and other violence.

Conditions like this prevailed both in the United States and Europe. In response to the Haymarket Riots, a “pan-national” organization of socialist and communist parties in Europe called for a day or remembrance. The first day of May became Labor Day or International Workers Day through most of Europe. Even today 1 May is a holiday in many countries in Europe. (In 1955, Pope Pius XII adopted this date for the feast of St. Joseph the Worker — in part, in response to holidays being observed in communist countries.)

In the United States, a similar movement was taking place. Labor Day, the first Monday in September, was proposed as a holiday in 1882 and became a Federal holiday in 1894. Although neither of these days solved all or even most of the problems workers were enduring, at least it gave the concerns of workers a forum where they could be expressed.

At the same time, labor unions were beginning to evolve in the face of at times extremely violent opposition from management. This inevitably involved the church.

Legal and moral questions were being asked about the relationships and responsibilities that existed between workers and employers. While some religious people looked upon the situation as the way it had always been — and, therefore, part of God’s plan — some in the Catholic Church thought differently.

Cardinal James Gibbons of Baltimore (1834-1921) was an advocate for justice for American workers. Pope Leo XIII issued an encyclical “Rerum Novarum” (14 September 1891) which was a major stage in the development of Catholic Social teaching regarding the rights of worker and the relationship of mutual responsibility between workers and employers, labor and management. Pope John Paul II brought Catholic sociall teaching further with the encyclical “Laborem Exercens” (14 September 1981 — the 90th anniversary of “Rerum Novarum”). In his encyclical, the pope stressed the importance and dignity of work for human beings. Work, he explained, is part of the human vocation as custodians of Creation. Since work is essential to the well-being of society, workers have a right to just wages. By “just wages/recompense,” the pope is clear that he is not talking about mere subsistence wages that “allow” a family to live — if at all — from pay check to pay check. Workers, he wrote, have the right to share in the benefits of creation, which they are providing through their work and efforts.

Pope Francis last year expressed this idea beautifully.

As Catholic News Agency reported:

According to Christian tradition, [work] is more than a mere doing; it is, above all, a mission,” the pope said.

“We collaborate with the creative work of God when, through our work, we cultivate and preserve creation; we participate, in the Spirit of Jesus, in his redemptive mission, when by our activity we give sustenance to our families and respond to the needs of our neighbor.”

Jesus of Nazareth, who spent most of his life working as a carpenter, “invites us to follow in his footsteps through work,” he continued. This way, in the words of St. Ambrose, “every worker is the hand of Christ who continues to create and to do good.”

CNEWA seeks to give that idea meaning and purpose through our own work in some of the most troubled corners of the world — carrying that mission to others and, we hope, making the Gospel come alive among those we serve.



Tags: Economic hardships Pope John Paul II Employment

3 May 2018
Greg Kandra




Nermine, part of a group of young Iraqi refugees in Jordan, hopes one day to return to her homeland. Learn how she and others are being supported and helped by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, who are Inspiring the Faithful in Jordan, in the current edition of ONE. (photo: Nader Daoud)



Tags: Iraqi Christians Jordan Iraqi Refugees

3 May 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro




Palestinian couple Muaz Rukup and Hedil Naccar, medical officials who had worked during “Great March of Return” demonstrations, are seen during their wedding ceremony at a healthcare tent near Gaza-Israel border in Khan Yunis, Gaza, on 2 May 2018. (photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Israeli government: Gaza protests are state of war, human rights law doesn’t apply (Haaretz) In response to a High Court petition filed by human rights groups, the Israeli state has argued the protests by Palestinians on the Gaza border fall into the category of a state of war and thus human rights law does not apply to the rules of engagement. In their so-called March of Return, Gazans have been protesting each Friday at the Gaza border fence. In the demonstrations, the Israeli army has killed 45 protesters and wounded thousands…

Maronite bishops: After elections, government must aim to repatriate Syrian refugees (Fides) The parliament and the government that will be elected on Sunday, 6 May, will have to oppose the attempt to permanently impose on Lebanon the weight of the reception of Syrian refugees, Maronite bishops said in a pronouncement…

The Armenian Catholicos Karekin II calls for national reconciliation (AsiaNews) The head of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Catholicos Karekin II of All Armenia, with an appeal released yesterday, has called on the authorities and opposition to act within the framework of legality, and seek ways to resolve the political crisis in the country through dialogue…

Massive Indian dust storm kills more than 70, injures scores more (RT) A powerful dust storm in northern India has killed more than 70 people and injured more than 140 others on Wednesday. Many reportedly died in their sleep while the storm swept through their homes. India’s Hindustan Times reports that the storm left a trail of destruction in its wake, uprooting trees and affecting the electricity supply in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan…

U.S. officials return thousands of ancient Iraqi artifacts seized from Hobby Lobby (Christian Today) U.S. officials have returned more than 3,800 artifacts illegally obtained from suppliers in Iraq and sold to Hobby Lobby, the giant craft store chain owned by evangelical Christians. The artifacts had been smuggled into the country and Hobby Lobby had bought them for the Museum of the Bible, which opened last year in Washington, D.C. Hobby Lobby’s founder, Steve Green, is the museum’s chairman…

Egypt’s jailed journalists: In numbers (Al Jazeera) The U.N. cultural agency, UNESCO has awarded its World Press Freedom Prize to imprisoned Egyptian photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid, despite criticism from the government of Abdel Fattah al Sisi following the announcement last week. Rights groups have reported an unparallelled crackdown on Egypt’s media in recent years and say there are signs it is getting worse…

Ecumenical Patriarch faces a hard choice over Ukraine (OCP Media Network) His All-Holiness Bartholomew is rightly believed to be the guardian of the Orthodox Christian unity. However, the recent visits to Fanar by President Poroshenko and Rostislav Pavlenko threw His All-Holiness into a dilemma. They want him to ecclesiastically legitimate the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and the Kyivan Patriarchate so that their clergy would be able to form another independent church in Ukraine. Being blinded by the pre-election agenda, administration of the Ukrainian President takes no notice of some obstacles on the way to autocephaly…



Tags: India Egypt Gaza Strip/West Bank Armenian Apostolic Church Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I

2 May 2018
Greg Kandra




Kindergarteners participate eagerly at Rosa Gatorno Kindergarten not far from Boditi, Ethiopia. Read about their teachers in The Habit of Learning in the March 2018 edition of ONE. (photo: Don Duncan)



Tags: Ethiopia Children Sisters Catholic education

2 May 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro




Residents of the village of Parakar blocking a road to Zvartnots International Airport. Armenian politician, opposition activist Nikol Pashinyan, one of the leaders of the ‘Way Out’ Alliance (Yelk) Party, has called on protesters to block airports and streets. (photo: Artyom Geodakyan\TASS via Getty Images)

Armenia’s opposition, blocked in parliament, raises pressure in the streets (New York Times) Protesters in Armenia, frustrated by Parliament’s refusal to elect the opposition leader as prime minister, heeded his call for widespread civil disobedience on Wednesday, fanning out across the country to close major squares, roads and schools…

The significance of Armenia’s ‘April Revolution’ (The Nation) Analysts outside of Armenia scrambled to make sense of the April Revolution. Was it a “color revolution” or a Ukrainian-style Maidan? Was it a “blow to Putin,” as the pages of The Washington Post suggested? The revolt did have certain elements that were recognizable in “color revolutions” — the street demonstrations, the involvement of youth, etc. However, its orientation was strictly domestic and its long-term causes — jobs, poverty, privatization, inequality, etc. — were entirely endogenous…

Chaldean Patriarchate: Do not use religious symbols for electoral propaganda (Fides) Candidates in the upcoming Iraqi political elections must avoid exploiting symbols and religious references as instruments of electoral propaganda, the Patriarchate of Babylon of the Chaldeans said ahead of the 12 May elections. In order to gather electoral support the candidates must only refer to their professional skills and their personal talents. Christian candidates, in particular, must avoid claiming alleged sponsorships and support from ecclesiastical authorities…

Harassment of Christians continues to escalate in Turkey (AINA) International Christian Concern has learned that overnight on 30 April 2018 at least one Turkish nationalist vandalized the Surp Takavor Armenian Church in Istanbul’s Kadiköy municipality. The nationalist wrote “This homeland is ours” on the wall and dumped a large pile of garbage outside of the church’s door…

Iraq’s Yazidis resume pilgrimages to sacred temple (AINA) Iraqi Yazidis are healing from the pain and hardship they suffered at the hands of the Islamic State, which swept their areas, killing men and forcing women into sexual slavery. In a sign of the return to normal life, the Yazidi New Year was celebrated in a Yazidi temple on 8 April for the first time since the liberation from ISIS…

Ethiopian Jews clamor to move to Israel (BBC) Ethiopian Jews have appealed to the president of Israel to help them migrate there, to be reunited with members of their families…

‘Secret church’ dating back to first Christian centuries survived ISIS (Christian Today) A ‘secret church’ in Syria dating back to the first centuries of Christianity has been discovered by archaeologists in a territory held by ISIS for more than two years. The ancient tunnel system, found in the city of Manbij, is believed to have once served as a refuge for Christians who faced persecution during the Roman Empire…



Tags: Syria Iraq Armenia Yazidi Ethiopian Jews

1 May 2018
Greg Kandra




Religious brothers sit in the library at St. Francis Theological College in India. Learn how India is helping form The New Priests in the current edition of ONE. (photo: Meenakshi Soman)



Tags: India Seminarians

1 May 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro




As part of a pastoral visit to Lebanon, Archbishop John Michael Miller of Vancouver visits Iraqi Christian refugees at a school run by the Syriac Catholic Patriarchate, supported by CNEWA. (photo: Carl Hétu)

Cries for peace in Syria louder than ever (Catholic Register) Catholic aid agencies that help Syrian and Iraqi refugees say a recent escalation of conflict in Syria has increased despair and heightened the call for peace from Christian leaders. “They all told us the same thing,” said Carl Hétu, national director of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) Canada, who made a pastoral visit to Lebanon from 15 to 19 April with Vancouver Archbishop J. Michael Miller to encourage partners who are working with refugees. “The region needs peace. They don’t need more bombs and the refugee crisis cannot be sustained any more in Lebanon…”

Syria announces Yarmouk camp evacuation agreement (Al Jazeera) The Syrian government has reached an evacuation deal with fighters from Hay’et Tahrir al Sham to leave the Yarmouk refugee camp in southern Damascus. The official SANA news agency announced on Monday that the fighters and their families, numbering about 5,000, would be evacuated in two stages, the first of which would see 1,500 people transported to the rebel-controlled Idlib province in northwestern Syria…

Expert: The bogey of Christian infiltration in India is a ‘political hoax’ (AsiaNews) The age-old bogey of Christian infiltration into the heart of India — allegedly intent on undermining the country — has been resurrected. While now a hackneyed political canard, its use as a recurrent theme in of Indian politics is significant…

Indian government accused of ignoring religious violence (UCAN India) The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has accused the Indian government of doing little to prevent violence against religious minorities and socially poor Dalit people. The commission’s latest report, released 25 April, said the government run by the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party has not addressed the problem of sectarian violence despite government statistics showing that sectarian violence has increased sharply over the past two years…

Greek-Turkish border under refugee pressure again (Al Monitor) Their clothes caked with mud, a small group of refugees from Syria trudge past a Greek farmer tilling his field on a tractor. He barely pauses to look at them. In the villages near the Evros River, the natural boundary with Turkey in northeastern Greece, such arrivals are now common…

Christians in Jerusalem’s Old City under threat from ‘hostile radical settlers’ (Christian Today) Christians in Jerusalem say their presence in the Old City is under threat from intimidation, with priests being spat at and abused, alongside aggressive property acquisition by hardline and ’hostile’ Jewish settlers, the Guardian has reported. The churches say they are facing onslaught on three fronts, according to the paper’s report from Jerusalem: a war of attrition waged by hardline settlers; unprecedented tax demands by Jerusalem city council; and a proposal to allow the expropriation of church land put up for sale…



Tags: Syria India Lebanon Jerusalem Greece

30 April 2018
Greg Kandra




Sister Frehiwot oversees students filing into the school after morning assembly in the school yard at Rosa Gatorno Kindergarten, located about nine miles outside the town of Boditi, Ethiopia. Discover how Sister Frehiwot and other young sisters are helping youngsters get in The Habit of Learning in the current edition of ONE. (photo: Don Duncan)



Tags: Ethiopia Children Sisters Catholic education





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