28 November 2011
Five-year-old Alexi, a member of the mostly Filipino Sacred Heart Latin Catholic parish in Amman, Jordan, loves to dance. (photo: Tanya Habjouqa)
In the current issue of ONE we feature a story on the Filipino migrant community in Jordan and the work of those who offer its members support and comfort:
A congenial 67-year-old Jesuit priest from Boston, who wears slacks and sandals under his vestments, Father O’Connell, looks and acts the part of a wise, friendly grandfather.
He helps the choir and he holds the lease on a house where the choir rehearses and other church groups gather. Father O’Connell also oversees the Sacred Heart youth basketball team and helped a group of youngsters from the church secure a space in the Jesuit Fathers’ center where they can breakdance.
Most important, Father O’Connell spends much of his energy responding to the spiritual, emotional and material needs of his predominantly Filipino congregation and other Filipino migrants in the country.
“I understood that the first task was to give people a place where they could be at home,” says Father O’Connell. “For these people, just the ongoing, regular liturgy — with Filipino music, with people reading, with them being able to participate in whatever way they want — gives a strand of consistency and continuity. It’s their home. It’s their place. In most cases, there’s no place else they can gather.”
For more from this story, see Far From Home by Nicholas Seeley.
4 November 2011
Tags: Middle East Jordan Cultural Identity Emigration Teresian Association
Seminarian Sleiman Hassan, 24, from Fuhais, Jordan, prays after lighting a candle before mass in St. Joseph Parish in Jifna, West Bank. (photo: Debbie Hill)
Today, according to the Latin calendar, is the feast day for Saint Charles Borromeo, a man sometimes called the "Father of the Clergy," and the patron saint of seminarians. In the the March issue of ONE magazine, Michele Chabin reported on the the challenges facing young seminarians in the Holy Land:
“I plan to do pastoral work and I’m preparing myself for the needs of the people,” says Mr. Hassan, a native of Jordan, who attends the Latin Patriarchal Seminary in Beit Jala, a town adjacent to Bethlehem.
“I’ve learned that life isn’t easy here, but the fact that it’s complicated challenges me to find new ways to help people and address their suffering.”
Not until shortly before noon does Mr. Hassan take a break from his duties and rest a little before tackling the three–hour drive back to the seminary.
For more from this story see, To Be a Priest in the Holy Land.
15 September 2011
Tags: Middle East Jordan Holy Land Seminarians Vocations (religious)
In the April 2011 CNEWA Connections e-newsletter, we chose to focus on some “never before seen” photographs by Sister Christian Molidor. It turned out that every picture told a story, and Sister Christian shared some anecdotes behind the images in an engaging slideshow. It offers a window into the world that we serve. You can view the slideshow and read more in A Christian Behind the Camera, within the newsletter.
A young girl at a refugee camp in Jordan. This photo is an outtake from the story, A Delayed Homecoming, featured in the Nov/Dec 2001 issue of the magazine.
(photo: Sister Christian Molidor, R.S.M.)
For more “never before seen” photographs by Sister Christian — like the one above from Jordan — check out the April 2011 CNEWA Connections e-newsletter.
2 September 2011
Tags: Children Jordan Refugee Camps Palestinian Refugees
Every now and then, we hear stories of how CNEWA has been able to help people in surprising, sometimes unexpected ways. This week, we heard about one case — involving three countries, one young woman and one generous family.
Eighteen-year-old Zeina Nasraween from Jordan suffers from cerebral palsy, which severely impaired her legs and hands.
In October 2010, her family approached CNEWA’s regional office in Amman for help in securing affordable housing in Germany, where she would undergo several months of medical treatment. In response, Father Guido Gockel, CNEWA’s vice president for the Middle East, contacted a family in the Netherlands, who paid for the family’s stay in Germany.
After arriving in Germany, Zeina underwent reconstructive surgery on both her legs and received nearly six months of intensive physical therapy.
The result: last month she was able to return home to Madaba, Jordan able to walk without a cane and use her hands fully for the first time in her life.
Family, friends and colleagues greeted her when she came home, and were astounded by the improvements. “We didn’t realize how tall Zeina was before because she could never fully stand on her own. Now that she can stand and walk, we have discovered that she is quite tall,” said her sister, Nisreen.
Tags: CNEWA Jordan Amman