CNEWA thanks its Canadian benefactors for their strong show of support for the Ukrainian people.
Ottawa, March 1, 2022 – Since February 24, the phone lines at the Canadian office of Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) have been jammed and emails backlogged due to the inspiring response of Canadians in offering help to Ukraine. The agency of the Holy See, founded to help the Eastern churches live out their mission in peace and security, has sadly been busier than it would like to be. War and conflict seem unending in too many countries and regions, including Ukraine.
“Ukraine is under siege and its sovereignty challenged,” said Anna Dombrovska, CNEWA’s project officer for Ukraine, a Ukrainian national based in the Ottawa office. “But no one will succeed at breaking Ukraine’s spirit, patriotism and resolve to remain free. The support we’re seeing from Canadians, especially for our work as a religious organization, is humbling. Canadians understand that it’s during times of darkness that the church is most needed.”
Wherever it serves, CNEWA collaborates closely with the local churches. In this case, funds will be sent to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine to help serve refugees, support field kitchens, provide humanitarian aid, medical supplies and services, and spiritual and psychological support.
Although millions of Ukrainians have had to flee their homes, many Ukrainian Greek Catholic priests have remained in their parishes to minister to the needs of those in flight, as well as those who remain and will not flee. If necessary, these church leaders have offered to convert their parishes into hospitals and sanctuaries.
“CNEWA remains committed to three goals,” said CNEWA President Msgr. Peter I. Vaccari. “Prayers for justice and peace in the region, the dissemination of accurate information and collaboration with our partners in the coordination of aid, especially for those in need throughout Ukraine. In his encyclical letter, ‘Fratelli tutti, on Fraternity and Social Friendship,’ Pope Francis calls us to build a ‘culture of encounter.’ He calls for ‘a need for peacemakers, men and women prepared to work boldly and creatively to initiate processes of healing and renewed encounter.’
“We need ‘to cultivate a penitential memory.’ Only the cultivation of such memory will permit us to move into the future. And why not start,” CNEWA’s president added, “by joining the Holy Father in fasting and prayer for peace in Ukraine on Ash Wednesday, March 2.”
CNEWA urges Canadians to answer this invitation to pray for peace and to consider making a gift by visiting cnewa.ca.
CNEWA works for, through and with the Eastern churches throughout the Middle East, Northeast Africa, India and Eastern Europe, providing pastoral and humanitarian support. Founded by Pope Pius XI in 1926, CNEWA was incorporated in Canada as a registered charity by Canada Revenue Agency in 2003. For more information, visit cnewa.ca.
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