Connections With Msgr. Peter: A Mission of Generosity

Since the September installment of “Connections With Msgr. Peter,” the CNEWA president traveled to meet with partners, collaborators and beneficiaries in Armenia, Georgia, New Haven, Connecticut, and Ottawa, Canada.

On the 12 October livestream, Msgr. Peter I. Vaccari welcomed Thomas Varghese, CNEWA’s director of programs, for a discussion on CNEWA’s projects in 15 countries worldwide.

Mr. Varghese has been with the agency for 26 years and focused primarily on the ongoing war in Ukraine, where CNEWA has provided medical assistance, food and shelter for refugees in neighboring countries and for those internally displaced by the war.

Prior to this interview, Msgr. Vaccari began the livestream with a reading from the Gospel of Matthew:

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ ” (25:35-45)

In this Scripture passage, Msgr. Vaccari explained, Jesus lays out the path one should follow — a path of care for the vulnerable.

“Your coming here and your taking the time to be with us this afternoon, I hope, is only the first step in a longer journey whereby you can unite yourself to the mission of CNEWA — a mission of prayer, a mission of being informed and the dissemination of correct information and, yes, a mission of generosity, a mission of giving according to our means,” he said.

In line with advancing CNEWA’s mission with care and efficiency, Msgr. Vaccari, Mr. Varghese and Michael J.L. La Civita, director of communications for CNEWA, traveled to Armenia and Georgia to visit with ongoing projects in these countries and to conduct a needs assessment. CNEWA collaborates extensively with the church’s Caritas network in these countries to support programs for child and elder care, victims of domestic abuse, psychosocial counseling, health care and emergency aid.

Upon his return to the United States, Msgr. Vaccari met with Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly at the Knights of Columbus headquarters in New Haven. He described the collaboration between CNEWA and the Knights of Columbus in Ukraine, which he visited in the spring with Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, chair of CNEWA’s board.  

He also met with the agency’s recently appointed national director for Canada, Adriana Bara, at CNEWA’s Ottawa office.

Msgr. Vaccari concluded his livestream by inviting viewers, donors and friends to send prayer intentions for their deceased loved ones for the month of November. The names submitted will be placed in the chapel of the CNEWA residence, where Msgr. Vaccari will pray for the departed during the celebration of daily Mass. These prayer intentions may be sent to

He also highlighted two of CNEWA’s upcoming fundraising events in New York: The first is an exhibition of award-winning photographs of CNEWA’s work around the world on 1 November at The Sheen Center for Thought and Culture. Admission is free; registration is not required.

The second fundraiser is an inaugural gala, honoring CNEWA’s chair, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, on 13 December. Sponsorship opportunities and tickets are now available. For more information on CNEWA’s upcoming events or to learn how to become a sponsor, contact

The featured guest for the next episode of “Connections With Msgr. Peter” on 9 November will be CNEWA’s regional director for Ethiopia, Argaw Fantu. Watch past episodes or sign up for the November livestream here.

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