27 August 2012
A first–year design student takes a break from studying at Notre Dame University in Lebanon. (photo: CNS/Nancy Wiechec)
In the current issue of the magazine, we profile the largest Catholic University in Lebanon, Notre Dame University. The school works to develop scholars and better world citizens:
“Our core mission,” says Dr. Eid, “is based on the premise of forming wise citizens in Lebanon. We need to cultivate certain conditions to provide learners with opportunities and spiritual values.”
”N.D.U. is as diverse as Lebanon,” declares Dr. Eid. Though the main campus’s student body is mostly Christian, the North Lebanon and Shouf campuses enroll significant numbers of Druze and Muslim students.
As part of N.D.U.’s mission, faculty and staff on all campuses promote dialogue among students of different religions and sects.
For more, read Where Dialogue Is on the Curriculum. And, take a look at our interviews with Notre Dame students in the video below!
27 August 2012
Tags: Lebanon Education ONE magazine Dialogue
In Syria, residence of metropolitan archbishop looted (Fides)
Turkish government shuts two border crossings to halt flow of Syrian refugees (Washington Post)
In Moscow, vandals attack Russian Orthodox crosses with chainsaws (The Moscow Times)
Two members of anti-Putin punk band flee Russia (Associated Press)
24 August 2012
Tags: Syria Refugees Turkey Russian Orthodox
A child reads Braille at the Shashemene School for the Blind in Shashemene, Ethiopia.
(photo: Nile Sprague)
The work of CNEWA is diverse and varies throughout the regions we serve. But one thing that has been consistent in almost every country is our support for the disabled. Below are five institutions for the disabled in five different countries, all supported by CNEWA:
Shashemene School for the Blind, Ethiopia. The Shashemene School for the Blind in Ethiopia is run by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. In the May 2006 issue of ONE we wrote about the Shashemene school:
“Three days after she was born, Meseret was struck blind. She spent much of her early childhood locked in her room; her parents did not know what to do with her. But a few years ago, Meseret&rsuqo;s family found out about the Shashemene School for the Blind, run by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, and decided that Meseret would be happier there than at home.
The school lies within a large, gated compound — a sanctuary in Shashemene, a bustling Ethiopian town of 50,000. It was here that Meseret, now 12, learned Braille. And it was here that she first came to understand that her life, like those of the other 120 blind students enrolled in the school, could be meaningful.”
St. Anthony’s Dayssadan, India. St. Anthony’s Dayssdan is a home for children with physical disabilities run by the Preshitharam Sisters. During his pastoral visit to India, Msgr. John Kozar visited the home and was moved by the children he met:
“The drama began the instant we arrived, when we were welcomed by all the children gathered at the front entrance to greet me with singing and clapping. Now, what I did not know was that about 80 percent of these beautiful children are not able to walk. They assembled there under their own incredible efforts. When the welcome ended they proceeded to crawl inside the building, down a long corridor (with the marble floor immaculately clean), then up a flight of stairs. I had tears watching them, as they demonstrated how they have overcome their disabilities. As I would easily discern, it is the result of the loving patience of the sisters, their devotion to teach these little ones how to overcome and to share with them the love of God for each of them.”
Franciscan Sisters of the Cross Hospital, Lebanon. Founded in 1933, this hospital houses and cares for some 280 mentally and physically disabled patients. Last winter, Msgr. Kozar visited the hospital and met with the Franciscan sisters and patients they care for:
“Our most memorable visit was in an area for profoundly mentally challenged boys and men, some of whom have severely physical handicaps. There was a remarkable sister who had a God-given ability to discern in the moans, groans or unabashed sounds of these patients ranging in age from 6 to 45 years a need for some type of attention. She calmly reached out and gave them a little hug, a pat on the check, a little touch on the head, and their anxieties or fears went away. She did it so instinctively and so calmly it might not have been noticed — she did it with love.”
Ephpheta Institute, Palestine. The Ephpheta Institute, in Bethlehem, is a school for the speech and hearing impaired which has long been supported by CNEWA. During his first pastoral trip to the Holy Land, Msgr. Kozar paid the sisters and students at Ephpheta a visit:
“Of course, the highlight was being with the children, all 125 of them. The very youngest receive wonderful one-on-one training and speech therapy, rendered in a most loving way. After a few years of such intense instruction and training, the children are ready to begin primary school education. It was so edifying to see the progression of the children as they learned first to repeat sounds, then words, then to speak in sentences. The biggest surprise was the upper level kids who were actually bi-lingual, speaking in Arabic and English. I was so proud of each and every one of them.”
Santa Lucia’s Home for the Blind, Egypt. The Santa Lucia Home for the Blind in Egypt, run by the Franciscan Sisters of the Cross, has cared for blind children since the 1980s. We profiled this pioneering project in the May 2010 issue of ONE:
“Having a blind parent or sibling, however, does not safeguard a blind child from abuse or neglect. One such child is 7-year-old Bishoi. His father is blind and never attended a day of school. Before coming to Santa Lucia, Bishoi spent most of his days on the street in a village in Upper Egypt.
‘His mom and dad stayed at home, and just left him in the street, where he cursed and roughhoused with other children,’ says Sister Hoda. ‘This is what happened to him because there was no one to take care of him. He did not even go to school.’
Many parents, such as Bishoi’s, are simply at a loss as to what to do with a disabled child. Lucky for Bishoi’s parents, their dilemma was resolved when they learned about Santa Lucia from a Franciscan priest who visited their local parish. His parents called Sister Souad that day and soon after, they put Bishoi on a train to Alexandria.”
Visit our website to learn how you can help support these institutions and others.
24 August 2012
Tags: CNEWA Children Disabilities
In this photo from 1998, novices of the Bethany community pray in their chapel near Kottayam, India. (photo: Sean Sprague)
Sisters are often the people on the ground carrying out the work CNEWA supports. With tireless effort and loving dedication, these women give the sick and poor the care they desperately need. Earlier this year, Msgr. John Kozar met a group of dedicated sisters in India — the Bethany Sisters. Sean Sprague also wrote about the Bethany congregation for the May/June 1998 issue of the magazine:
The Bethany Sisters’ motherhouse in Kottayam is a spiritual powerhouse where temporarily professed sisters spend a few years in prayer, study and work before taking their final vows. Pure and virtuous, the sisters are nevertheless wholeheartedly human and very Indian. They are fully aware of the outside world and eager to go and serve the poor and sick.
“Bethany is the church within the church,” Sister Philomena explained. “Its role within the Syro-Malankara Church is like that of the heart in the body. Its charism is the spiritual renovation of the Syro-Malankara Church, particularly through its apostolic activities. One of our main apostolates is education.”
Today the Bethany community operates some 100 lower and upper primary schools, 65 nursery schools, 28 secondary schools, 3 university colleges, a teacher-training college and several other vocational training centers. Mar Ivanios University in Trivandrum is one of the premiere institutions of higher learning in Kerala, educating more than 3,000 students per year.
Ecumenical activities, family visits, catechism, preaching, mission work, care for the sick (the Bethany community runs several hospitals, leprosy eradication projects and preventive health care programs) and care for the handicapped, the elderly and orphaned children are all important apostolates.
For more, read Following Christ in an Indian Way.
24 August 2012
Tags: India Sisters Kerala
Syrian army retakes Christian areas of Aleppo (AFP)
Russian Orthodox activists form political party aiming to re-establish the monarchy (Interfax)
Heightened security for papal trip to Lebanon (Catholic News Service)
Spate of hate crimes troubles U.S. Muslims (CNN)
23 August 2012
Tags: Syria Lebanon Russia Muslim Orthodox
A mother and child receive care at the Shepherd’s Field Hospital (photo: PMP-CNEWA Jerusalem)
CNEWA Canada is very excited to partner with the Catholic Women’s League (C.W.L.) of Canada for a joint venture called “Velma’s Dream,” named after outgoing C.W.L. President, Velma Harasen. The Catholic Women’s League is a national lay association of women and is the largest organization of Catholic women in Canada — with over 1,300 councils across Canada.
Last week, CNEWA Canada National Director Carl Hétu visited the Annual National Convention for the C.W.L. held in Edmonton, AB, Canada, from 12 to 15 August 2012. He was invited to speak to 950 delegates on the topic of Christians of the Middle East. He inspired and challenged them to bring hope to these Christians, who are a minority and caught in the midst of power struggles. We can help them keep the light of Christ burning in the Holy Land by being in solidarity with them, since they are part of the family of the Catholic Church.
Carl also gave the Catholic Women’s League an update on a project they are supporting in Holy Land — the education program of the Infant Welfare Center in Jerusalem, which works at getting youth who have dropped out of school back into the classroom. The project has now been fully funded, meeting its goal thanks to the generosity of women and councils across Canada. The funds will be sent this September for implementation.
During the National Convention, the C.W.L. approved the funding of a second project. This new dream is to support the Beit Sahour Cooperative Society in the Bethlehem area, to provide affordable quality health care for poor families — especially pregnant women and newborn babies through the Shepherd’s Field Hospital.
Another example of their generosity is that approximately $2,500 was collected at Masses during the National Convention to go towards this second project. What a wonderful witness of solidarity with Christians in the Holy Land. Carl enjoyed his time spent at the Annual National Convention and in Edmonton. To all the wonderful ladies of the Catholic Women’s League, we say: “Thank you!”
To support Velma’s Dream, visit our website by clicking here.
23 August 2012
Tags: Holy Land Health Care Donors CNEWA Canada
Dr. Yousef Zaknoun, director of The Cardinal Martini Leadership Institute at Bethlehem University, accepted the Sciat vt Serviat Award on behalf of the university.
(photo: Bethlehem University)
Last month, at its General Assembly in São Paulo, Brazil, The International Federation of Catholic Universities presented its prestigious Sciat vt Serviat Award to Bethlehem University for its “remarkable commitment … in building a sustainable society in the Holy Land.” From the university’s website:
Designed to enhance the mission of IFCU and of Catholic universities across the globe, the Sciat vt Serviat Award rewards creative initiatives that represent a significant and inspiring contribution to Catholic university culture. Dr. Yousef Zaknoun, Director of The Cardinal Martini Leadership Institute at Bethlehem University, was among the 300 participants at the IFCU International Assembly in São Paulo, Brazil on Thursday, 26 July 2012 when it was announced that Bethlehem University was this year’s recipient of the Sciat vt Serviat Award. ...
Bethlehem University is the third such institution to receive the Sciat vt Serviat Award, being singled out for “the social commitment of its Faculty Members and Students in favor of the Interreligious Dialogue and Peacebuilding.” This is evidenced by the engagement of all students in an interreligious dialogue class during their fourth year of study; the prominent voice of Bethlehem University faculty, staff, and students at the “Christians in the Holy Land Conference” last summer at Lambeth Palace in London; the leadership of Bethlehem University faculty in the international discourse around the Christian presence in the Holy Land, such as through Kairos Palestine; and countless other initiatives.
For the rest of the story, complete with a photo album, click here.
Bethlehem University bears the distinction of being the only Catholic university in the Holy Land. CNEWA played a significant role in its founding by Pope Paul VI in 1973, and maintains a permanent endowment for its continued operation. To read more about Bethlehem University, see Paul Wachter's The Perseverance of Bethlehem University, from the November 2004 issue of ONE, or George Martin's Preparing Palestinians for a New Millennium, from the October 1998 issue.
23 August 2012
Tags: CNEWA Holy Land Education Catholic education Bethlehem University
In this 2006 image, Patriarch Paulos and bishops assemble during a celebration of the feast of Mary of Zion in Aksum. (photo: Sean Sprague)
Last week we shared the sad news of Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarch Abune Paulos’ death. Today, he was laid to rest in Addis Ababa:
Thousands of Ethiopian Orthodox Christians gathered on Thursday at the St. Trinity Cathedral Church in Addis Ababa to pay their last respects to the late patriarch, Abune Paulos who died last week at 76.
Representatives from various countries, bishops and heads of churches including Coptic Church of Egypt, Syria and India, General Secretary of World Churches, representatives of the Vatican and the Greek Orthodox Church attended the funeral ceremony.
Msgr. John E. Kozar met the patriarch in April and shared his impressions of him on the blog.
23 August 2012
Tags: Ethiopia Africa Ethiopian Orthodox Church Aksum Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarch Abune Paulos
Ethiopian Orthodox patriarch buried (Africa Report)
Body of Ethiopian prime minister returns to his homeland (L'Osservatore Romano)
Syrian capital under siege(Voice of America)
Egypt's Copts celebrate Virgin Mary (Egypt Daily News)
Biblical park in Israel recreates ancient times with donkeys and Wi-Fi (Associated Press)
22 August 2012
Tags: Syria Egypt Ethiopia Israel Coptic Christians
Girls wearing traditional dress participate in an Easter celebration in Jakubany, a village in northern Slovakia. (photo: Father Damian Saraka)
In the current issue of ONE, we profile the Slovak Greek Catholic Church and look at some of its rich religious history.
In the celebration of the sacraments, Slovak Greek Catholic parish communities use Slovak and its Latin alphabet as well as Church Slavonic and its Cyrillic alphabet. And its territory is restricted to parish communities in the Slovak Republic.
Yet the church’s origins and development are synonymous with the various Carpatho-Rusyn Greek Catholic churches of Central Europe. Together, the ancestors of these Catholics received the Christian faith from Sts. Cyril and Methodius in the late ninth century. And they professed their full communion with the bishop of Rome in the chapel of the castle of Uzhorod in April 1646, centuries after the Western (Catholic) and Eastern (Orthodox) churches had drifted apart.
You can get a sense of the tradition and culture that continue to enliven Slovakia in the images below, accompanied by a beautiful Carpathian chant.
Tags: ONE magazine Greek Catholic Church Slovakia Eastern Catholics Slovak Catholic Church