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Volume 44, Number 4
16 August 2012
Erin Edwards

A worker cleans a wind-powered generator at the Renewable Energy Center in Mithradham, India’s first solar-powered educational facility. (photo: Peter Lemieux)

In the current issue of ONE, Peter Lemieux writes about the effects of urbanization on the traditional way of life in Kerala. For the multimedia feature accompanying this story, Peter interviewed Rev. Dr. George Peter Pittappillil, C.M.I., director of the Renewable Energy Center in Mithradham, India’s first solar-powered educational facility. To learn more about this innovative facility, check out the video below:

Tags: India Kerala ONE magazine Urbanization Environment

16 August 2012
Greg Kandra

Msgr. Kozar met with Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Patriarch, Abune Paulos during his pastoral visit to Ethiopia in April. (photo: CNEWA)

From Ethiopia today came the sad news that the leader of of the Orthodox Church there, His Holiness Abune Paulos has died:

Paulos, whose full title was His Holiness Abune Paulos, Fifth Patriarch and Catholicos of Ethiopia, Ichege of the See of St Tekle Haymanot, Archbishop of Axum, died early Thursday in Addis Ababa, aged 76.

The patriarch, who was one of the seven serving presidents of the World Council of Churches is said to have been taken ill a few weeks ago, but the cause of his death, is yet to be established.

Born in Adwa in Tigray Province of the northern part of the country, the patriarch did his education at the Theological College of the Holy Trinity in Addis Ababa under the patronage of Patriarch Abune Tewophilos.

He was sent to study at the St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in the United States and later undertook doctoral degree at Princeton Theological Seminary.

During his pastoral visit to Ethiopia in April, Msgr. Kozar had a chance to visit with the patriarch:

Our last stop of the day, in the late afternoon, was most notable. We were received by His Holiness, Abune Paulos, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. This role places him as the supreme shepherd of more than 35 million souls in this country, plus a significant number of Ethiopian Orthodox Christians living elsewhere.

The patriarch is quite a character. Entering the receiving room, resplendent with elegant furnishings, and seeing him seated on a throne, one expects that his manner would be quite formal and the visit very pro forma — quite the contrary. This man is full of wisdom and insight, but also very disarming with his humor. Out of the blue comes a quip or a jovial word. But make no mistake; this man is a first-class public relations expert and a high-power salesman. He is so good at promoting the church, I kidded him and told him some of the bishops in North America might want to hire him as a development consultant!

We had a delightful conversation and he obviously regards the solidarity with the Catholic Church as a precious gift. He especially holds Gerry Jones, our regional director in Ethiopia, in highest regard and made references to that relationship many times, sometimes in jest, but always with deep respect.

As I was bidding him goodbye and receiving his blessing, I offered him a heartfelt invitation to honor us with a visit to our office in New York. He received this invitation warmly.

Our thoughts this day are with the people of Ethiopia, and we join them in praying for the soul of their patriarch.

Tags: Ethiopia Ethiopian Orthodox Church

16 August 2012
Greg Kandra

Ecumenical Patriarch issues appeal for peace, ceasefire in Syria (Vatican Radio)

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill begins historic visit to Catholic Poland (Associated Press)

Kerala priest arrested for allegedly insulting national flag (Times of India)

Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarch dies (The Africa Report)

Can sports unite Muslims and Christians in Egypt? (Hurriyet Daily News of Turkey)

Tags: Kerala Christian-Muslim relations Ethiopian Orthodox Church Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I Poland

14 August 2012
Greg Kandra

This icon of the Dormition of the Theotokos resides in the Vestibule of the Chancery of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the USA, in Johnstown, PA.
(image: American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese).

Tomorrow, 15 August, marks one of the great feasts of the Christian calendar, the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary. The Vatican newspaper this week has a reflection on how this event — also known as the Dormition — has been depicted in iconography, such as the image above:

In the Byzantine tradition the first great celebration in the liturgical cycle is the Nativity of the Mother of God on 8 September, and it ends with her Dormition, and her being taken up into Heaven on 15 August. This almost intends to stress that for every Christian and for the whole Church the Virgin presents the journey that ushers us into the saving mystery of Christ. Established in the East at the end of the sixth century and introduced a century later into the West, the Feast of 15 August celebrates the passage and full glorification of the Mother of God as the first fruits of the Paschal Mystery of Christ, preceded on 14 August by a pre-feast and followed by an octave that ends on 23 August.

Two troparia of the Office of Vespers exemplify the close relationship between eucology and iconography. The former presents the icon of the feast as a liturgical celebration of the Dormition, alternating the eight musical tones of the Byzantine Tradition: Mary, dead or rather, fallen asleep, is at the center of the icon on a funerary couch which, however, also portrays a Christian altar. The Apostles and other figures surround her; Peter and Paul are always among the first, who indicate the whole Church’s presence.

Christ, in the middle of a semicircle with the angels around him, holds his Mother’s soul in his arms: “The supreme powers of heaven, presenting themselves with their sovereign, full of awe escort the most pure body which welcomed God; they precede it in an ascent beyond the world and, invisible, cry to the hosts above: Behold the Mother of God has arrived, Queen of the universe”.

The presence of the angels in the upper part brings the icon closer to that of Christ’s Ascension.

Mary’s bed is also an altar on which the liturgy takes place. The Apostles standing round who celebrate it, Christ in the background, in the apse, who presides over it; Peter who incenses the altar, as at the moment of the great entrance in the Byzantine Divine Liturgy.

“Open the doors and greet with honour worthy of the Kingdom beyond this world the One who is the Mother of Eternal Light. Thanks to her, in fact, the salvation of all mortals is brought about. We do not have the strength to meet her gaze and it is impossible to attribute to her the honour she deserves”.

Mary, finally, taken up to Heaven in glory, becomes for the whole Church which celebrates her the One who intercedes with her Son. “Indeed, your supereminence exceeds every mind. May you, therefore, O immaculate Mother of God, who lives for ever with your King and Son, Bearer of life, ceaselessly intercede so that your new people may be preserved and saved from any harmful attack. In fact we enjoy your protection and for centuries, with every splendour, proclaim you blessed”.

You can read more at the link for the L’Osservatore Romano article.

Tags: Icons Eastern Catholics

14 August 2012
Greg Kandra

Organization of Islamic Cooperation meets in Mecca, recommends suspending Syria (Voice of America)

Moscow hopes Russian Patriarch's visit to Poland will help improve relations (Interfax)

France vows to preserve Christian interests in Middle East (Lebanon Daily Star)

Bill proposes separate prayer times for Jews, Muslims at Temple Mount (Jerusalem Post)

Large Ramadan prayer meeting set to draw thousands to Kerala (Gulfnews)

Syrian refugees straining Jordan's neutrality (Washington Post)

Tags: Syria Jerusalem Kerala Russia Islam

13 August 2012
Greg Kandra

Father Mark Morozowich is the new dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. (photo: Catholic University of America)

Last month, the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. made history when it named for the first time an Eastern Catholic to head its School of Theology.

From the school’s press release:

John Garvey, President of The Catholic University of America, has appointed Very Rev. Mark Morozowich, associate professor, as dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies, effective July 1, 2012.

“It gives me great pleasure to appoint Father Mark Morozowich as dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies,” said President Garvey. “Father Morozowich has the skills and the experience to lead our University’s oldest school, and to address the challenge of leadership in the Church’s intellectual life. Father Morozowich is the first Eastern Catholic to head the school. Symbolically, this demonstrates The Catholic University of America’s commitment to Blessed John Paul II’s vision of the Church ‘breathing with two lungs’ — both Eastern and Western rites.”

Just today, the National Catholic Register published an extensive interview with Father Morozowich:

Q:Catholic University is touting the fact that you are the first Eastern Catholic to lead the School of Theology and Religious Studies. Tell me about that. What is the significance?

A: When we begin to think about the Catholic Church, it’s really an amalgamation of Churches. … So, we have various different Eastern Churches with their own liturgical, canonical, theological, spiritual traditions. It’s hard, so many times, because the Latin Church is just so large, especially in this country, that when we look at the Eastern Churches, we don’t always understand that they are just as Catholic as the Latin ritual tradition is.

So, when we think, then, about the theological world, we are taken back to the time of Constantine, when there was one Church, both East and West. And this lasted, as we all know, through the centuries, with various schisms, certainly, but until 1054, when there was the great divide between the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Patriarchate of Rome.

However, the theological inheritance, the idea that Nicaea happened in the East, the Councils of Constantinople were considered as ecumenical councils. So the theological basis for many of these discussions, some might say, is just purely Eastern; but certainly the Catholic Church holds to the ecumenical councils as being representative of the true teaching of the Church. So when we try to expand the understanding of the word “Catholic,” we see that it’s universal, so this is sort of a further development, a sort of realization of that, to say that it’s not just a medieval, theological tradition, but that when we look at the whole tradition of the Church, we understand that as being the whole 2,000-year lived tradition of the Church. And as it also said in the press release, following Pope John Paul II, the Church breathing with two lungs, both Eastern and Western.

Q: So you would certainly bring that perspective to the theological field and the School of Theology.

A: Yes, so when we look at the theological tradition, the tradition of the Church is the whole 2,000-year tradition; and that when we try to understand, we certainly need to base ourselves in what we have said throughout the centuries. We can even look at liturgical developments:

The Sanctus in the liturgy was a Syriac hymn that was interpolated later into the liturgy. Even in the Latin Church today, we still have the Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, which is clearly Greek terminology that came into the Latin liturgy as well.

So I think this is really helping to accentuate that sense of an interdependency of the Church and all of its various manifestations and traditions.

There’s much more about him, and more of his interview, at the National Catholic Register link.

Tags: Education Unity Ecumenism Catholic Schools Eastern Catholics

13 August 2012
Greg Kandra

After winning Olympic Gold in London, Ethiopian long distance runner Meseret Defar kisses an image of the Virgin Mary she’d carried with her. (photo: by Matt Dunham/AP via Vatican Radio)

The moment above captured the attention of the world late Friday during the London Olympics. As Vatican Radio put it:

When Ethiopian long distance runner Meseret Defar crossed the finish line for Olympic Gold, the very first thing she did was reach for an image of the Virgin and Child — which she had carried with her for every step of her 5,000 metre race — and pray, full of thanks and filled with joy.

Defar, an Ethiopian Orthodox, kissed the image and made the sign of the cross. It was one of many public signs of faith on display during the Olympics:

From simple crucifixes to prostrations in prayer, athletes from various religious backgrounds have brought their private, personal relationship with God into the global arena, in moving moments of thanks and praise.

“It is a sign perhaps for many of us in society, that little public signs of faith are no harm”, says Bishop Richard Moth, Bishop of the British Armed Forces. “It’s a sign that faith is not just a personal thing, but in a very simple way they are opportunities for us to proclaim the Gospel, to proclaim faith and all those things can only be good!”

Tags: Ethiopia Africa Ethiopian Orthodox Church

13 August 2012
Greg Kandra

Can Syria's Christians survive? (Wall Street Journal)

Olympic winners display faith (Vatican Radio)

Egypt's president consolidates power (Fides)

Kerala bishops promote environmental protection (Catholic News Service)

Pope Benedict XVI names special envoy to Urkaine jubilee celebration in Lviv (Vatican Radio)

Tags: Syria Egypt Ukraine Pope Benedict XVI Kerala

10 August 2012
Erin Edwards

A child plays at the Godano Institution, a home for abused girls, women and their children. (photo: John E. Kozar)

As we mentioned yesterday, the July edition of ONE is now available online! You may have noticed something new in the last few issues of the magazine: a photograph and accompanying essay on the last page in a feature that we call Focus. In this feature, the president of CNEWA, Msgr. John E. Kozar, (a gifted and accomplished photographer, by the way!) shares one of his own photographs of CNEWA’s world and offers a reflection on what that picture means to him. In the July edition he writes about the children of Ethiopia:

As the president of CNEWA, I am privileged to visit many distant lands. And one of the special joys in each and every place is to meet the children. Children have a way of sharing with us a window into the soul of their country, their people and their tribe. The window is not cluttered or ornate; it is simple and clear and bright.

On a visit not long ago, I met the beautiful children of Ethiopia. In a way that only children can reflect, they helped me experience the joys, the hopes and the sufferings of the Ethiopian poor. They welcomed me into a world that is not sophisticated or complicated, but one that is pure, simple and sincere.

For more, check out the July edition of the magazine.

Tags: Ethiopia Children Africa Msgr. John E. Kozar ONE magazine

10 August 2012
Megan Knighton

A Palestinian doctor examines a child at the N.E.C.C. Mother and Child Clinic in Gaza City.
(photo: Eman Mohammed)

The Gaza Strip has been under siege for years. Continuing blockades prohibit much-needed healthcare commodities from entering the region — such as medicines, advanced technology and other medical supplies, even medical staff. The situation remains highly tenuous as community health needs continue to grow.

But there is hope! Last year CNEWA, in partnership with our generous donors, successfully advanced the health and well-being of communities throughout the Gaza Strip by sponsoring healthcare projects offered by the clinics of the Near East Council of Churches (N.E.C.C.). Together, we worked to promote and restore dignity for families and children by helping to provide basic medical care.

Here are five things you’ve helped us to accomplish:

  1. Raised awareness. The N.E.C.C. clinics, working with local organizations, held over 2,000 public health campaigns covering topics like breastfeeding, personal hygiene, nutrition education and psychosocial counseling.
  2. Brightened smiles. Mobile dental clinics were set up to administer basic free dental care to remote, under-served communities throughout Gaza. Dental exams increased from 6,479 to 7,056.
  3. Immunized kids. Over 9,000 children were newly registered last year at the clinics. That means each child received a free checkup and any missing vaccinations and inoculations. Early registration of infants increased, too!
  4. Stocked shelves. Ensured fully stocked pharmacies throughout the year at all clinics, allowing them to provide services to families and at-risk groups unable to receive full treatment at other under-stocked clinics in the area.
  5. Cared for pregnant mothers. Through our clinics, over 1,500 mothers received excellent pre- and postnatal care, including classes and lectures about good habits for raising healthy children and caring for families and women’s empowerment. Each mother and newborn also received thorough follow-ups from clinic staff.

You can read more about recent efforts to help the people of Gaza in “Behind the Blockade” from the March 2012 issue of ONE. And visit our “Ways to Give” page to learn how you can make a difference yourself!

Tags: Gaza Strip/West Bank Health Care Women

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