CNEWA President Monsignor Peter Vaccari and Communications Director Michael La Civita were in Rome this week for the annual meeting of ROACO, a coalition of papal agencies that assist the Eastern churches around the world with humanitarian aid and pastoral support.
In an interview with Vatican News, Mr. La Civita underlined how the various papal organizations “share common concerns and challenges” and complement each other’s work as partners in the field. The annual meeting, he said, strengthens these relationships in view of serving the church.
“I come away always impressed by the catholic nature of what we do,” he said.
Mr. La Civita shared brief updates on the situations in the various countries where CNEWA works, including in Armenia, Georgia, Ethiopia and Eritrea. The ongoing conflict in some of these regions continues to pose serious challenges to the churches and the Christian communities there, he noted.
Mr. La Civita also explained how CNEWA and its partners navigated the COVID-19 pandemic, by employing creativity and innovation both in their communications and their work on the ground, enabling the papal agency to increase its fundraising compared with the previous year.
He attributed CNEWA’s successful fundraising in part to the powerful words and witness of Pope Francis, and the pope’s ongoing calls to solidarity.
He also drew special attention to the upcoming meeting of Pope Francis with the Christian leaders of Lebanon, scheduled on 1 July. Lebanon, considered the last foothold of Christianity in the Middle East, continues to spiral economically and socially as its secular leaders seem unable to form a government. Mr. La Civita asked that people pray for this meeting.
Prayer, he said, “is the most important thing, the foundation of what we do, always calling to mind the presence of God among us and the need to pray for ourselves and for others. And it does move mountains.”
Read the Vatican News article and listen to the full interview here.