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Current Issue
September, 2019
Volume 45, Number 3
  
6 November 2019
CNEWA Staff




The Vatican has announced the Holy Father’s prayer intention for November, and publicized it with the video below.



The full message:

In the Middle East, concord and dialogue among the three monotheistic religions is based on spiritual and historic bonds.

The Good News of Jesus, risen out of love, came to us from these lands.

Today, many Christian communities, together with Jewish and Muslim communities, work here for peace, reconciliation, and forgiveness.

Let us pray that a spirit of dialogue, encounter, and reconciliation emerge in the Middle East.

The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer developed “The Pope Video” initiative to assist in the worldwide dissemination of monthly intentions of the Holy Father in relation to the challenges facing humanity.



Tags: Pope Francis Middle East

25 October 2019
CNEWA Staff




Ethiopian Cardinal Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel stopped by our New York office Friday afternoon for a visit. He’s pictured in the center with (from l-r) the Rev. Abayneh Gebremichael, who leads the Ethiopian Catholic community in Washington; and CNEWA staff members Greg Kandra, Thomas Vargehese, Noel Selegzi, Haimdat Sawh and Christopher Kennedy. (photo: CNEWA)



Tags: Ethiopia CNEWA

22 October 2019
CNEWA Staff




Msgr. Peter Vaccari, Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Msgr. John E. Kozar. (photo: CNEWA)

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, Chair and Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of Catholic Near East Welfare Association/Pontifical Mission for Palestine, has announced the Holy See has approved the nomination and election of Msgr. Peter Vaccari to succeed Msgr. John E. Kozar as president of CNEWA/PMP. Msgr. Vaccari will initiate the process of transition as vice president on January 1, 2020. At a date yet to be determined, but in the near future, Msgr. Kozar will retire and concurrently Msgr. Vaccari will assume his responsibilities as president of CNEWA/PMP.

In a staff meeting in New York on Tuesday announcing the move, Cardinal Dolan said that Msgr. Kozar had approached him nearly a year ago to discuss a successor, noting he was going to be turning 75 in 2020 and wanted a smooth transition.

The cardinal expressed his gratitude to Msgr. Kozar for initiating the process — and also expressed his personal affection for him and the work he has done with CNEWA/PMP over the last eight years. The cardinal reminded the CNEWA family of his high regard for the agency and its work since his days serving the apostolic nunciature in Washington, D.C., then led by Archbishop Pio Laghi. Archbishop Laghi served in Jerusalem under St. Paul VI and was a great supporter of CNEWA and its work in the Middle East.

A priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn, Msgr. Vaccari, 67, will conclude his term as Rector of Saint Joseph Seminary in Dunwoodie, New York, on 31 December. Ordained a priest in 1977, he has served as a parish priest, seminary professor, Chaplain with the Air Force Reserve, and Rector of Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington before becoming Rector of Saint Joseph’s Seminary in 2012.

Msgr. Kozar, a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, began his tenure as president of CNEWA/PMP in September 2011, after having served as National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies for ten years. “A diocesan priest on loan to the missions,” Msgr. Kozar has encouraged the Eastern Catholic churches — which CNEWA is privileged to serve — as these communities continue in their renewal called for by the fathers of the Second Vatican Council.

”As I travel throughout CNEWA’s world, the men and women of these rich communities of faith demonstrate the church at her best, whether by wiping tears from the eyes of abandoned pensioners or in offering the Bread of Life to refugees in a camp.”

Msgr. Kozar and Msgr. Vaccari reminded the CNEWA staff that they share a deep and long-lasting friendship, built over many years of traveling together to the Middle East on pilgrimage, and they look forward to working together during this period of transition of leadership.



Tags: CNEWA Msgr. John E. Kozar Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan

11 October 2019
CNEWA Staff




Children enjoyed fun and games and much more at an annual summer camp in Armenia.
(photo: Catholic Ordinariate of Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe)


While much of the world is getting ready for winter, some of our friends in Armenia this week shared with us this glimpse of summer.

Below is a video showing highlights of a summer camp that was supported, in part, by CNEWA.

As a report from the church puts it:

From June to August 2019, the Armenian Catholic Ordinariate of Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe hosted about 833 participants in “Aghajanyan” Summer Camp in a wonderful campsite of Torosgyugh. The children come from Catholic communities of both Armenia and Georgia.

The report goes on to say the camp also welcomed children with disabilities. Daily activities included catechism classes, to “provide children with a solid foundation in a rapidly changing world of values and morals.” The camp also featured dance, handicrafts, language clubs and games.

The report explains just how important this project has become:

Every summer, our participants are living the dream of a place where everyone belongs and knows each other; becoming more self-confidence and reinventing themselves in new situations; feeling included with their peers in a caring community; lasting friendships and endless fun; trying new things and exploring new talents; and making forever memories.

CNEWA is proud to support this venture — and we’re pleased to share this video of highlights from a summer many young people will never forget.



Tags: Armenia

24 September 2019
CNEWA Staff




The September 2019 edition of ONE focuses on stories of home and family.

The familiar saying tells us “there’s no place like home” — and the new edition of ONE magazine, now online, brings that message beautifully alive.

In the September issue, you will discover how so many of those we serve seek to find a home — often, after fleeing war or persecution — and how they are able to find it. You will learn how Filipino migrants are finding a sense of welcome and family in Lebanon, thanks to a group of Jesuit priests. You will meet Iraqi Christians returning to their homeland, with renewed resolve and a sense of purpose. And CNEWA’s president, Msgr. John E. Kozar, offers some thoughts on how the ultimate home, and ultimate family, for so many of those we serve is the church.

We invite you to check out those stories and much more in ONE. Meantime, check out a special preview below, from Msgr. Kozar.



Tags: CNEWA

5 September 2019
CNEWA Staff




A group of migrants tour historic Kerak, Jordan, on their way to the Ader Learning Center.
(photo: CNEWA)


We received the following email from Ra’ed Bahou, CNEWA’s regional director in Amman, describing some of CNEWA’s outreach to Filipino migrants who have settled in Jordan:

Our staff took part recently in a pilgrimage to Kerak and the Ader Learning Center, under the care of the Rev. Boulos Baqa’in. Three library staff accompanied some 40 migrants, who visited Kerak Castle with Father Boulos and a tour guide, who explained the biblical, historical, and archeological importance of the place to Jews, Christians and Muslims.

At noon, they attended Divine Liturgy at a Greek Catholic Church. After that, they interacted with children and parents at the Ader Learning Center, which CNEWA supports; they distributed coloring books and games to the children, along with cultural magazines for adults, some books on religion and two balls for playing football.

It was a fulfilling encounter for everyone!



Tags: Jordan Migrants

21 August 2019
CNEWA Staff




Flash floods in Kerala have wiped out houses, leaving many families homeless and in desperate need. (photo: CNEWA)

Catholic Near East Welfare Association has received urgent requests for aid from partners in flood-ravaged Kerala in southern India.

The Syro-Malabar Catholic Eparchy (diocese) of Palghat reports that torrential rains have triggered landslides in the hilly areas of the Palakkad District, burying houses, people, livestock and patches of agricultural lands in mud several feet deep. CNEWA’s regional director in Kerala, M.L. Thomas, adds that flash floods have ravaged the lower regions of the district, destroying houses and fields located along its rivers and streams.

“Raging floodwaters have caused massive mudslides in the hilly areas,” he writes. “Farm lands have been wiped out and houses have disappeared. It is heartbreaking to watch.”

Bishop Jacob Manathodath of Palghat and the bishops in the neighboring eparchies of Mananthavady and Thamarassery have asked CNEWA for monies to help clean and restore homes for the poorest families affected by the flooding and landslides, as well as funds to help subsistence farmers clear their devastated plots — most of which are smaller than 2 acres — and reclaim them for vegetable cultivation and the keeping of livestock, such as pigs and goats and chickens.

CNEWA is asking our generous donors to help our suffering brothers and sisters in southern India in their hour of need.

Many residents of Kerala depend on livestock and agriculture for their livelihood — and these have been wiped out by the flooding. (photo: CNEWA)

“Their livelihoods have been shattered,” Mr. Thomas writes, “and measures need to be taken to restore their lives as soon as possible.”

Click here to help people affected by floods in Kerala.

In the United States, urgent donations can be made online at www.cnewa.org; by phone at 800 442 6392; or by mail, CNEWA, 1011 First Avenue, New York, NY 10022 4195.

In Canada, visit www.cnewa.ca; write a cheque to CNEWA Canada and send to 1247 Kilborn Place, Ottawa, Ontario K1H 6K9; or call toll-free at 1 866 322 4441.

Since the torrential rains began on 8 August, more than a quarter of a million people have been displaced and housed in temporary shelters, including in parish community centers. As priests and sisters visit the hardest hit families, parishes are mobilizing relief supplies for those who remain displaced and living in camps. The death toll continues to climb — at least 200 by several accounts — as bodies are recovered from homes buried in mud.

The flood devastation has left many Kerala residents trying to salvage whatever they can of their homes. (video: CNEWA)

“While we are not an emergency relief organization,” says CNEWA’s president, Msgr. John Kozar, “I urge our friends and benefactors to do what they can to help us as we accompany the churches of Kerala respond to these real human tragedies.

“Helping the poorest of the poor — right now through the eparchies of Palghat, Mananthavady and Thamarassery — is a beautiful expression of how we stand in solidarity with the Eastern Catholic churches.”

An agency of the Holy See, CNEWA works throughout the subcontinent of India, the Middle East, Northeast Africa and Eastern Europe. On behalf of the pope, CNEWA works for, through and with the Eastern churches, rushing aid to displaced families; providing maternity and health care for the poorest of the poor; assisting initiatives for the marginalized, especially the children, elderly and disabled; and offering formation and supporting the education of seminarians, religious novices and lay leaders.

CNEWA is a registered charity in the United States by the State of New York and in Canada. All contributions are tax deductible and tax receipts are issued.



Tags: CNEWA Kerala

28 June 2019
CNEWA Staff




The July 2019 edition of ONE is now online.

Looking for some great reading this summer? The new edition of CNEWA’s award-winning magazine ONE is now online.

In the July 2019 edition, readers can visit a remarkable school in Lebanon; meet Syrians finding a new home with ancient roots in Armenia; discover how some of Egypt’s poorest residents are reclaiming dignity, even when living among garbage; and rediscover how each of us has a vocation.

It’s a rich and inspiring collection of stories and we’re pleased to share them with you this summer.

Check out the video preview from our president, Msgr. John E. Kozar, below. And click here to read more online.



Tags: ONE magazine

27 June 2019
CNEWA Staff




CNEWA-Pontifical Mission marked 70 years of service to the church of Jerusalem with Mass at the chapel of the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Centre. (photo: CNEWA)

On 18 June 2019, our Jerusalem team marked 70 years of service to the peoples of the church of Jerusalem with a celebration of the Eucharist at the chapel of the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Centre. Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, Apostolic Nuncio to Israel and Cyprus and Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine, presided. The solemn Mass was dedicated to all those who have served CNEWA-Pontifical Mission.

A special assembly was held after the liturgy. Regional Director Joseph Hazboun offered words of welcome to the guests, which included Mar Gabriel Dahho, Syriac Orthodox Bishop of Jerusalem; Bishop Boulos Marcuzzo of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem; Father Francesco Patton, Custos of the Holy Land; representatives of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in Galilee and Jerusalem and the Syriac Catholic Church; priests, religious sisters, representatives of local Catholic aid organizations; and directors of partner institutions. The program included a short film highlighting the work of CNEWA-Pontifical Mission, a bagpipe performance of the Palestinian National Anthem by the Melkite Greek Catholic Scout Troop in Jerusalem and a Dabke dance performance by Siwar Association for Culture and Arts.

The Melkite Greek Catholic Scout Troop performed the Palestinian National Anthem on bagpipes after the liturgy. (photo: CNEWA)

The event marked, to the day, Pope Pius XII’s establishment of the Pontifical Mission for Palestine, an ad hoc committee founded to coordinate and deliver worldwide Catholic aid for Palestinian refugees displaced by the Arab-Israeli war of 1948. Placed by the pope under the direct administration of CNEWA, the Pontifical Mission’s activities have been expanded under succeeding pontiffs to include care for all those displaced by war and migration throughout the Middle East, as well as the support for the pastoral and humanitarian works of the churches of the region.

In collaboration with local Christian institutions, aid through our Jerusalem office has reached thousands of families, especially the most vulnerable, such as children and youth, the sick and the elderly, all of whom need basic services, especially in areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip where resources are very limited. Over the years, the agency has also supported programs that help preserve Palestinian culture and heritage, and helped fund educational and formation initiatives for children, especially underserved communities in Palestine and Israel, including the children of migrants from Africa and Asia.

CNEWA-Pontifical Mission’s enduring presence in the Middle East is a tangible sign of the Holy Father’s sincere concern for the needy, the dispossessed, the refugee and the underprivileged.

To learn more about CNEWA-Pontifical Mission’s activities in the Middle East, please visit here.



Tags: CNEWA Jerusalem CNEWA Pontifical Mission

24 June 2019
CNEWA Staff




CNEWA’s ONE magazine took home top honors from the Catholic Press Association at its annual awards last week.

CNEWA’s flagship publication, ONE, took home top honors at the Catholic Media Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida, last week.

The magazine was named Magazine of the Year (Mission Magazine category) at the Catholic Press Association Awards, and won 26 others in a wide range of categories including writing, photography, blogging and design.

In addition, the magazine’s publisher, Msgr. John E. Kozar, received the prestigious Bishop John England Award, which annually honors a publisher who has been a staunch defender of press freedom.

In one magazine category, Best Layout or Article Column, CNEWA’s graphic designer Paul Grillo swept all the awards — and also won second place in the All Member Awards for Graphic Artist/Designer of the Year.

Citing the overall quality of the magazine, the judges praised the “great work” of the staff, cited the “excellent” layouts, singled out the “beautiful, informative coverage” and made a point to underscore the “exceptional journalism” that has become a hallmark of the publication.

The judges included faculty from Spring Hill College, Loyola University, Marquette University and media professionals and journalists from around the country.

A complete list of the awards can be found below, with links to the winning stories:

First Place:

Magazine/Newsletter of the Year (Mission Magazines)

Best Layout or Article Column (Mission Magazines): This, Our Exile by Paul Grillo

Best Feature Article (Mission Magazines): For I Was in Prison by Don Duncan

Best Reporting on a Special Age Group: Windows to the World by Mark Raczkiewycz

Best Writing — In-Depth: Confronting Abuse of Women in Georgia by Molly Corso

Best Multiple Picture Package — Feature: This, Our Exile by Petterik Wiggers

Best Single Photo, Color: Thoroughfare in Mai-Aini refugee camp by Petterik Wiggers

Second Place:

Best Electronic Newsletter: “Discover ONE Online”

Graphic Artist/Designer of the Year: Paul Grillo

Best Blog — Group or Association: One-to-One by CNEWA Staff

Best Layout or Article Column (Mission Magazines): ‘For I Was in Prison’ by Paul Grillo

Best Coverage — Immigration:

Inspiring the Faithful in Jordan by Dale Gavlak

This, Our Exile by Emeline Wuilbercq

A Refuge in Lebanon by Doreen Abi Raad

Best Feature Article (Mission Magazines): This, Our Exile by Emeline Wuilbercq

Best Writing — In-Depth: A Source of Light by Gayane Abrahamyan

Best Multiple Picture Package — Feature: Windows to the World by Ivan Chernichkin

Third Place:

Best Layout or Article Column (Mission Magazines): A Letter From Iraq by Paul Grillo

Best Coverage — Ecumenical/Interfaith Issues:

Defining ‘Christian’ in Palestine by Samar Hazboun

‘For I Was in Prison’ by Don Duncan

Healing the Forgotten by Anubha George

Best Reporting of Social Justice Issues — Option for the Poor and Vulnerable: Healing the Forgotten by Anubha George

Honorable Mention:

Best Cover, Color: ONE magazine, June 2018 by Paul Grillo and Nazik Armenakyan

Best Online Content Not Published in Print: CNEWA Connections by Elias D. Mallon, S.A., Ph.D.

Best Essay (Mission Magazines): A Letter From Iraq by Sister Clara Nacy

Best Reporting of Social Justice Issues — Option for the Poor and Vulnerable: Confronting Abuse of Women in Georgia by Molly Corso

Best Reporting of Social Justice Issues — Solidarity: Signs of Hope by Magdy Samaan

Best Reporting of Social Justice Issues — Life and Dignity of the Human Person: Windows to the World by Mark Raczkiewycz

Best Story and Photo Package: This, Our Exile by Emeline Wuilbercq and Petterik Wiggers

Best Writing — In-Depth: A Refuge to Mend and Grow by Anubha George

Best Multiple Picture Package — Feature: For I Was in Prison by Don Duncan



Tags: CNEWA Catholic Press





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