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Current Issue
December, 2017
Volume 43, Number 4
  
14 April 2015
Michael J.L. La Civita




The president of CNEWA, Msgr. John E. Kozar, has authorized the immediate release of $686,000 to assist the Christian community in the Middle East as part of CNEWA’s ongoing commitment to the region’s churches and their humanitarian and pastoral initiatives.

The aid targets those most in need, he stated, and will be administered by CNEWA’s partners on the ground. The funds represent a portion of CNEWA’s allocation from the voluntary collection taken up last autumn in dioceses across the United States. Support includes:

  • $100,000 to renovate and furnish church structures damaged during anti-Christian riots in Egypt in August 2013.

  • $15,000 to help the Daughters of the Sacred Heart in Dohuk, Iraqi Kurdistan, run a home for the care of elderly and disabled women, many of them displaced by ISIS.

  • $3,000 to support the Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena for the formation of novices. The sisters have lost their mother house in Mosul and many convents in northern Iraq. From their exile in Erbil, they are CNEWA’s primary partners in caring for the displaced.

  • $150,000 to assist parishes in Jordan hosting Iraqi Christian refugee families. Living in parish community centers, families delineate space with temporary dividers, and receive bedding, clothing, food and a caring ear from the parish community.

  • $50,000 to support the Mother of Mercy Clinic in Zerqa, Jordan. Staffed by the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, the sisters serve impoverished refugee expectant mothers, Muslim and Christian, an increasing number of whom are Iraqi and Syrian.

  • $50,000 to help the Pontifical Mission Community Center in Amman, Jordan, provide counseling, tutorial services, catechesis and English classes to marginalized populations, especially Syrian and Iraqi Christian families. The center is administered by the Teresians, an international Catholic lay association.

  • $50,000 to provide additional support to the Italian Hospital in Amman for its treatment of refugees and the poor. The hospital is administered by the Dominican Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, an Iraqi religious community.

  • $75,000 to assist religious sisters in Lebanon with their outreach to poor Lebanese nationals. The influx of more than a million Syrian and Iraqi refugees has devastated the poor of Lebanon, who have grown poorer with the loss of income and housing. Funds provide food, medicines, counseling services and other forms of assistance.

  • $93,000 to help Holy Family Catholic Parish in Gaza renovate its community center, which provided families a refuge during the aerial bombing of Gaza last summer. The Latin parish is the only Catholic church in the Gaza Strip. It serves the entire community, sponsoring a school, hosting a home for children with special needs run by the Missionaries of Charity, and offering other social services, such as post-traumatic stress disorder counseling.

  • $100,000 to provide medical care for impoverished families in Syria through CNEWA’s partners on the ground — religious communities of men and women.

Samir and Nevine Deshto, Iraqi Christian refugees, stand with their newborn daughter in the Italian Hospital in Amman. (photo: Nader Daoud)

Msgr. Kozar noted that portions of this disbursement supplement the agency’s commitment of more than $6.8 million to the peoples and churches of the Middle East in 2015. CNEWA’s Middle East program includes an array of aid from emergency relief for displaced Iraqi Christian families and support for formation programs for seminarians in Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon to health care and schooling initiatives in Syria and Palestine.

An agency of the Holy See, CNEWA works throughout the Middle East, with offices in Amman, Beirut and Jerusalem. On behalf of the pope, CNEWA works for, through and with the Eastern churches. CNEWA is a registered charity in Canada and in the United States by the State of New York. All contributions are tax deductible and tax receipts are issued. In the United States, 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.



Tags: Middle East Christians CNEWA Middle East Relief Eastern Churches