Published here in its entirety, CNEWA’s Early Years, by Bishop John G. Nolan, is a fascinating look at the remarkable origins of our Catholic Near East Welfare Association.

About the author

John Gavin Nolan (1924-1997), a priest of the Diocese of Albany in New York, joined CNEWA in 1962 and earned his stripes in Lebanon, where he began in CNEWA’s Pontifical Mission office in Beirut. He traveled throughout the Middle East, and as his tenure grew, so did his stories.

He returned to New York in 1965 to take on the leadership of the association, which he did until he was ordained a bishop by Pope John Paul II in January 1988 and asked to care for the souls in the U.S. Military Archdiocese. 

His stories and his personality were the stuff of legend, and later in his career at CNEWA, he was encouraged to commit to paper the research he had conducted on the early years of the association he had so loved. These chapters are the fruit of his work, and the commitment of his successors to keep the history of the early years alive.

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