16 May 2018
Little Mariam visited CNEWA’s office in Amman just two months after she was born. (photo: CNEWA)
The CNEWA team in Amman, Jordan, was happily surprised recently by a small visitor — one who owes her life, in no small part, to CNEWA’s donors. We’d like you to meet one of our success stories, 2-month-old Mariam.
Before Mariam was born, her parents came to CNEWA, looking for help. The mother was older, and it was clear she needed a Caesarean delivery. The CNEWA staff directed the family to the Italian Hospital, supported by CNEWA in Amman, and helped pay for the surgery.
The delivery went well, but the doctors discovered that Mariam has a small hole in her heart. She is being treated with drugs and, in time, it is hoped the hole will close and Mariam will have a long life.
What a blessing to see Mariam alive and well — and to see the joy on her parents’ faces.
So often, we at CNEWA start to feel a bond with those we serve, especially refugees in need of help. It’s not just a matter of providing food or milk or health care. It is a matter of love — as Jesus commanded us, “Love one another, as I have loved you.”
Mariam and her parents stopped by CNEWA’s Amman office to express their gratitude. (photo: CNEWA)
8 May 2018
Tags: CNEWA Jordan Amman
The Mother of Mercy Clinic provides a wide range of services to as many as 30,000 patients each year, with a special focus on prenatal and postnatal care. It has just been hailed for offering one of the most innovative and successful programs in the world for helping confront the global refugee crisis. (photo: John E. Kozar)
A leading Catholic philanthropic organization, FADICA — Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities — has released a report citing some of the most innovative and successful programs around the world helping to confront the global refugee crisis.
We are pleased and proud to report that one of CNEWA’s programs — the Mother of Mercy Clinic, run by the Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena and CNEWA in Zerqa, Jordan — was cited.
As we described the clinic’s work in ONE magazine several years ago:
Established in 1982, Mother of Mercy Clinic offers a wide range of general heath care services to thousands of patients…regardless of creed or origin. The clinic, however, specializes in prenatal and postnatal care, giving priority to needy mothers and their infants.
As the clinic’s head doctor, Dr. Ghabeish has treated mothers and infants for years. “People like to come here because they know they will get quality service, that they will be treated in a clean environment run by good administrators,” said the 59-year-old doctor, a Palestinian refugee.
Though only 20 miles northeast of Amman — the increasingly cosmopolitan capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan — Zerqa struggles with a multitude of problems: escalating crime rates, insufficient housing, inadequate infrastructure, pollution and poverty.
…“Zerqa’s Christians provide essential social services, such as education, health care, job training and social assistance,” added Ra’ed Bahou, CNEWA’s regional director for Jordan and Iraq. “Christians may be a tiny minority, but their reach is significant.”
FADICA partnered with the Center for Social Innovation at Boston College to put together the report, which identified 64 “innovative and solutions-oriented Catholic ministries globally that are accompanying and aiding refugees and migrants.”
The report went on to describe the “social innovation” of this and other successful programs:
Through the Catholic Social Innovation initiative, FADICA has identified Catholic models, approaches and organizations that are responding to the global refugee crisis by putting their faith into action and harnessing innovation.
Catholic social innovation is not new; Catholic priests, brothers, sisters and lay people have been doing this work for centuries, but often under the radar. This study attempts to change that by spotlighting Catholic innovators and innovations. It also illustrates how Catholic social teaching (sometimes called ones of the church’s “best kept secrets”) informs and inspires innovation in Catholic ministries and organizations.
You can read more in the full report at FADICA’s website.
For more on the work of the Dominican Sisters in Jordan, read Finding Sanctuary in Jordan, Overwhelming Mercy and Mothering Mercy In ONE magazine.
We are grateful to FADICA for recognizing the vital and invaluable work of the Dominican Sisters — and we are grateful, especially, to our donors who have made this sort of work possible and successful.
Want to learn how to support these and other programs in Jordan? Visit this page.
19 April 2018
Tags: Refugees Sisters Jordan Dominican Sisters
CNEWA’s chair Cardinal Timothy Dolan wrapped up his trip to Lebanon Wednesday and sent along this heartfelt tribute to the country and its people — describing how Lebanon represents both Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
“There’s a lot of suffering here, the tears of refugees and the memories of war,” he says, “but there’s also hope, confidence, joy, and life! God bless Lebanon, God bless America, and God bless the Catholic Near East Welfare Association!”
We are humbled and privileged to have been able to share a few days with the cardinal — and to share with him, as well, some of the great work our donors are making possible.
Take a look.
18 April 2018
Tags: Lebanon Middle East Christians CNEWA
In the video above, Cardinal Timothy Dolan meets with refugee families, many from Iraq, in Lebanon. (video: Archdiocese of New York/CNEWA)
The remarkable video above comes to us from the CNEWA team traveling to Lebanon with our chair, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, and offers a powerful look at what so many in that corner of the world are living with — and how CNEWA is seeking to lift them up from despair to hope.
CNEWA’s Michael J.L. LaCivita passed along more pictures and this brief dispatch:
Archbishop Michael Miller of Vancouver meets with refugees. (photo: Michael J.L. LaCivita)
Imagine one night, at dinner, you receive a phone call that you have five minutes to take your family and gather some clothes and flee. For thousands of families in northern Iraq, this is precisely what happened on 6 August 2014.
The next day, their villages fell to ISIS. And while this band of nihilists and criminals has been defeated since, the nightmare for these families remains reality.
Many now live in exile and poverty — in Beirut and Amman and further afield. In some cases, the only help they receive is from the church and organizations such as CNEWA.
Today, our delegation encountered the fear and the desperation these parents feel, as they desperately want to come to America and Canada.
Pictured are some of the children Cardinal Dolan met during a visit to a school in Lebanon. (photo: Michael J.L. LaCivita)
They do not understand why we have closed our arms to them.
“We try to prevent them from falling into despair,” said Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III, “but we must rely on the generosity of others.”
Syriac Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III struggles to keep up the spirits of his people during this difficult period. (photo: Michael J.L. LaCivita)
Lebanese President Michel Aoun, who received us this morning thanked the cardinal, the delegation and CNEWA for our many years in Lebanon, and our work here, “especially during the darkest years,” during the last years of the civil war.
Pray for the Middle East. Pray for Lebanon. Resources are low. And time is running out.
Late yesterday, we also received this video, which shows the exceptional faith and charity of the Melkite Catholics in Zahleh, Lebanon. Check it out.
18 April 2018
Tags: Lebanon Refugees CNEWA
Part of the program in Sagar, India, taught young women basic sewing skills, to help them find better-paying jobs. (photo: CNEWA)
We recently received this update on a wonderful program CNEWA support from our regional director in India, M.L. Thomas:
The project aimed to educate poor and destitute children living in low-income urban areas of Sagar, India, helping them to learn basic skills — such as tailoring and dressmaking — to generate income for poor women and widows.
The program took place in seven urban neighborhoods and one village, benefiting some 200 children. Seven lay teachers were given the task to instruct the children and others, and did so with great talent and commitment.
Each class consisted of four hours of training in the morning.
A religious sister meets with some of the women. (photo: CNEWA)
The program, supported by CNEWA, has provided a platform for the sisters and priests of the diocese to meet the parents personally and provide counseling. The parents and teachers also met together in groups, which has helped them understand the value of education for their children and encourage them to go to school.
We could see that 83 children living in poverty were mainstreamed to government schools. Their attitude toward life will be better once they leave the slums, with a greater sense of responsibility toward their families and the community. Most of the teachers involved in the project were women; some came from poor families but were immensely dedicated.
The children showed great interest and enthusiasm to learn. The project not only helped the children to learn, but also reduced their stress and depression.
The results have been very promising! It was observed that these children see possibility and hope in their lives. They are not among those who go out begging or pursuing child labor, and they are not involved in drug abuse or addiction. Government authorities and the general public all appreciated the efforts through this project.
17 April 2018
Tags: India CNEWA Education Poor/Poverty Women
Cardinal Timothy Dolan shares a joyful moment with displaced Syrian children in Lebanon. (photo: Michael J.L. LaCivita)
CNEWA’s Michael J.L. LaCivita, traveling with our contingent in Lebanon, filed these wonderful images today. He wrote:
Cardinal Dolan greets young children in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. (photo: Michael J.L. LaCivita)
Retired Bishop William Murphy meets young people in Lebanon. (photo: Michael J.L. LaCivita)
Today, in the city of Zahle in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley — the Jerusalem of the Greek Melkite Catholic world — members of CNEWA’s board of trustees visited more Syrian families displaced by war.
Archbishop Issam Darwich mingles with his flock. (photo: Michael J.L. LaCivita)
The bishops also met with members of the local community, whose lives have been upended by the arrival of “cheap unskilled labor,” who have taken their jobs.
But Zahle’s “pope,” Greek Melkite Archbishop Issam Darwhich, leads by example, and has reached out to Christian and Muslim refugees alike, bringing with him hundreds of volunteers to help feed, clothe and house these innocents.
The proof is in the pudding — as these pictures illustrate. Devout Muslim families have opened their hearts and homes to the cries of “Abuna!” (Father!) and “Sayydna! (Excellency!), Regardless of the crosses around their necks.
You can follow more of the cardinal’s trip here and here.
17 April 2018
Tags: Lebanon CNEWA
Continuing his pastoral visit to Lebanon, CNEWA’s chair, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, visited St. Joseph Seminary and filed this inspiring look at the next generation of priests:
16 April 2018
Tags: Lebanon CNEWA
Cardinal Timothy Dolan visits a clinic run by the Good Shepherd Sisters in Lebanon. (photo: Archdiocese of New York via Vimeo)
This week, CNEWA’s chair Cardinal Timothy Dolan is making a pastoral visit to Lebanon, accompanied by other bishops and CNEWA staffers from the United States, Canada and the Middle East. He described his upcoming trip last week in his newspaper column:
Remember me, please, as this week I visit Lebanon, a country beautiful naturally and spiritually, a country unique in the tortured Middle East for its religious pluralism, peace — fragile though it may be — and amity among creeds.
We know of their deep spiritual roots because we cherish our Maronite, Melkite, Armenian and Syrian Catholics who live as neighbors with us, and who call Lebanon their country of origin.
As Archbishop of New York, I chair a superb organization called the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA), which, for 90 years has generously assisted the ancient Christian minorities, especially in the Middle East.
Lebanon has heroically welcomed hundreds of thousands of refugees from the horrors in neighboring Syria, and my brother bishops there have invited me to come. I do so gratefully and willingly, to bring your encouragement and assistance as well. I’ll let you know how it went next week when I get back.
Last October, we placed in our cathedral, thanks to a benefactor of Lebanese origin, a chapel to the renowned Maronite Catholic holy man and miracle worker of Lebanon, St. Charbel. Would you ask his intercession for his beloved Lebanon … and whisper to him that I could use his guidance and wisdom while in his home country?
Shortly after he arrived in Lebanon, he celebrated Mass at St. Joseph Church in Beirut. Here is part of that liturgy and his homily:
Late Sunday, he posted the two videos below on his blog, chronicling some of the first day of his trip, including a visit to the shrine of St. Charbel and a chance to see the good work being done by our longtime collaborators in the country, the Good Shepherd Sisters. We hope to keep you updated in a days ahead with what promises to be an inspiring trip!
10 April 2018
Tags: Lebanon CNEWA Sisters
A wounded Syrian receives aid at a hospital 7 April in Damascus after a suspected chemical weapon attack in Douma. (photo: CNS/SANA via EPA)
On Sunday, Pope Francis condemned the use of chemical weapons following reports of a deadly attack in Syria:
“There is no good and bad war, and nothing, nothing can justify the use of such instruments of extermination against defenseless people and populations,” the pope said 8 April before concluding Divine Mercy Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square.
A suspected chemical weapon attack occurred late 7 April when Syrian army warplanes allegedly flew over and bombed the eastern town of Douma, located 15 miles north of the Syrian capital, Damascus, according to the Reuters news agency.
The Syrian American Medical Society Foundation reported 42 victims were killed in the attack while hundreds of people, “the majority of whom are women and children, were brought to local medical centers with symptoms indicative of exposure to a chemical agent.”
Pope Francis prayed “for all the dead, for the wounded, for the families who suffer” and called for world leaders to abandon the use of war as a means of gaining peace and stability.
“We pray that political and military leaders choose the other way: that of negotiation, the only one that can lead to a peace that is not that of death and destruction,” the pope said.
We join our prayers with the Holy Father’s — holding close in our hearts the suffering people of Syria, who have endured so much for so long. We recall the words of the Rev. Nidal Abdel Massih Thomas, patriarchal vicar for northeastern Syria, who wrote in our magazine last year:
Our faith always calls for peace, but politics and bad politicians are always setting fires and disturbing the situation. I try to stay away from political discussions. My mission is to take care of my parish, to help my parishioners and to try and enrich the parish with fruitful spiritual activities.
While Syria’s many Christian communities face many and varied challenges right now, there is only one thing we all truly need: peace.
During this Easter season, a time of renewal and hope, we pray to the Prince of Peace to uplift and console the Syrian people, and bring them the peace they so urgently desire.
To learn more, and offer your prayerful support, please visit this page. Thank you and God bless you.
28 March 2018
Tags: Syria Syrian Conflict
The March 2018 edition of ONE is now available online and is headed to your mailbox — just in time for Easter!
This edition focuses on formation, and there’s a rich collection of articles and images that help tell the story of how CNEWA is working to form faithful Christians in some of the most challenged and challenging parts of the world.
You will meet young Ethiopian sisters preparing to become leaders of their communities; you will hear from seminarians in India, describing their vocation journey; and you will be introduced to a a group of religious sisters in Jordan who are enriching the lives of the laity, many of whom are refugees.
Visit our digital edition to read more. And be sure to check out Msgr. Kozar’s preview below.
Tags: ONE magazine