CNEWA’s Memorable Weekend in Altoona

CNEWA?s Parish Outreach program has been keeping us busy recently, and this past weekend was no different.

CNEWA’s Parish Outreach program has been keeping us busy recently, and this past weekend was no different. I had the pleasure of traveling with my colleagues Norma Intriago and Deacon Greg Kandra to St. John the Evangelist Church in Altoona, PA. The pastor, Msgr. Michael Becker, a longtime friend of CNEWA, invited us to visit and share the agency’s work in the Middle East.

After a ride over the George Washington Bridge and into the fall foliage-covered mountains of Pennsylvania, we arrived at St. John’s for the three weekend Masses, at which Deacon Greg served and preached. His homily focused on the work of the incredible sisters CNEWA is blessed to partner with, and he shared the stories of their work with Christians in the Middle East. He also mentioned that every gift we received that weekend — and until All Saints’ Day — would be doubled, thanks to the wonderful matching gift we received a few weeks ago from a generous donor in California.

The CNEWA table in the vestibule also proved to be quite popular before and after each Mass. Parishioners came by to learn more about our work and sign up for a subscription to ONE Magazine. The parish also graciously put out a collection box for us.

We also had the opportunity to speak to the faith formation classes between the Sunday Masses. Norma and I met with the adult faith formation class (and sampled some delicious pumpkin streusel!) while Deacon Greg spoke to the middle and high school students. In addition to answering questions about the current situation in the Middle East, we shared stories about our work in Ethiopia, where Msgr. Becker and Norma had visited on a CNEWA-sponsored trip in 2009.

It was a wonderful weekend, and a great chance to meet so many generous, caring people. Most notably, it was gratifying to talk to people who had heard of the plight of Christians in the Middle East, and weren’t sure how to help them — until now. Finally, before we got back on the road to New York, we presented Msgr. Becker with a piece of artwork done by a student at the Pontifical Mission Summer Bible Camp in Zerqa, Jordan. Over 350 Iraqi Christian refugees and Jordanians attended the camp, sponsored by CNEWA and staffed by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.

We’re always looking for new parishes to visit and spread our message. If you and your parish are interested in having us, simply contact us.

Recent Posts

Get to know us and stay informed about the impact your support makes.

Nous constatons que votre préférence linguistique est le français.
Voudriez-vous être redirigé sur notre site de langue française?

Oui! Je veux y accéder.

Hemos notado que su idioma preferido es español. ¿Le gustaría ver la página de Asociación Católica para el Bienestar del Cercano Oriente en español?

Vee página en español