Aleena Gichie is a charitable giving advisor for CNEWA in New York.
“In the church and in the journey of faith, women … have a special role in opening the doors to the Lord.” So observed our new Holy Father, Pope Francis. And it sure is true here at the Catholic Near East Welfare Association! Women make CNEWA work. So I want to take a moment to share my appreciation for the women of CNEWA.
First are the sisters who do God’s work in the places we serve. For example, Sister Belaynesh in Ethiopia. She runs a Catholic school that serves the poorest of the poor. But her children receive a quality education and free meals to sustain them, thanks to her careful stewardship. I marvel at how she stretches every penny into a nickel and every nickel into a dime for the sake of her children. Sister Belaynesh doesn’t have much, but she is creative. Some of her classrooms are built from old shipping containers.
There are also the women who work in the nine CNEWA offices around the world. Perhaps the best known was Sister Christian Molidor, R.S.M., who has been a part of our family for many years. You probably saw her photos and stories in ONE magazine or read the emails she used to send. Sister Christian is now retired, but not without blessing us with her gifts — both on paper and in person. My prayers and gratitude are forever with her.
Eileen Fay is another wonderful woman of CNEWA. You may have had the pleasure of speaking with Eileen if you have ever called our New York office. She is a donor relations representative who has worked with us for more than 50 years. Eileen recently retired. Yet she didn’t leave us — she continues to support the mission of CNEWA by very generously volunteering three days a week.
Last but not least are the women who are reading this blog post — our donors! You deserve a special “thank you,” for you are the ones who make possible our great work. With your help, CNEWA and our partners, like Sister Belaynesh, are able to do far more good. God bless you and all of the women in our family. You are making it a better world for all!