Ottawa, Ontario, October 1, 2015 — In a new effort to support Christians in the Middle East, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, has announced a major “global initiative” — partnering with Catholic Near East Welfare Association — to provide much-needed help for 6,000 families in Syria. The target is $2 million.
The funds, which will be collected by CNEWA and distributed through the Catholic Church in Syria, will help keep families warm. With the freezing temperatures of winter fast approaching, many might not survive until spring. The joint goal is to keep them warm, and keep them alive.
This comes as Pope Francis has called for continued support of the people of Syria — and has turned his attention, in particular, to displaced families fleeing war and persecution. “When the stranger in our midst appeals to us,” he told the U.S. Congress in his historic address Thursday, “we must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past. We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible… Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War. This presents us with great challenges and many hard decisions.”
CNEWA has long been active in its support of the churches and peoples of Syria, yet it has stepped up its activities since the civil war, rushing aid to thousands of displaced families within the country, as well as schooling and counseling in those few areas that remain secure.
An agency of the Holy See, CNEWA has been a lifeline for the poor throughout the Middle East, Northeast Africa, India and Eastern Europe for nearly 90 years. Founded by Pope Pius XI in 1926, CNEWA works for, through and with the Eastern Catholic churches to build up the church, affirm human dignity, alleviate poverty, encourage dialogue — and inspire hope.
The Holy See’s Pontifical Council for the Family is responsible for the promotion of the pastoral ministry and apostolate to the family and to help Christian families fulfill their educational and apostolic mission. It also encourages, sustains and coordinates initiatives to promote human life in all stages of development.
All contributions above $10 are tax deductible. People can donate by visiting www.cnewa.ca; mail their gift to CNEWA Canada marked “Syria Emergency” to 1247 Kilborn Place, Ottawa, Ontario K1H 6K9; or call toll-free at 1-866-322-4441.
Carl Hétu, Canadian National Director
Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA)
For more information or to set up an interview, please contact:
Tel: 416-341-9929 ext. 228