Connections With Msgr. Peter: Looking Toward Lent

In the latest installment of "Connections With Msgr. Peter," CNEWA's Msgr. Peter I. Vaccari shares developments in CNEWA's world and welcomes guest Tresool Singh-Conway.

CNEWA’s Msgr. Peter I. Vaccari looks toward Lent in the latest installment of “Connections With Msgr. Peter,” which aired on 31 January with guest Tresool Singh-Conway, chief financial officer for CNEWA.

Watch the episode to learn about recent developments in CNEWA’s world, including Msgr. Vaccari’s December visit to the Holy Land, and upcoming events.

CNEWA’s president began the episode with a message for the feast of St. John Bosco, who founded the Society of St. Francis de Sales, known as the Salesians. CNEWA works closely with Salesian schools across Lebanon, the Holy Land and Egypt, he said, so St. John Bosco’s work holds special significance to the agency. He also highlighted Catholic Schools Week, 28 January to 3 February.

“CNEWA, for its history, has been committed to children, to the education of children in healthy and safe environments,” he said.

In welcoming Mrs. Singh-Conway, who has been with CNEWA for 26 years, Msgr. Vaccari expressed the importance of transparency and accountability regarding donations and their subsequent distribution.

Their discussion of funding and the agency’s budget circled back to the question of emergency funding, which Msgr. Vaccari said is a “real challenge” due to its sudden and urgent nature. “You can’t budget emergencies,” he said.

However, Mrs. Singh-Conway explained how the generosity and dedication of CNEWA’s donors ensures the agency is ready and able to respond to emergency situations.

“These emergencies, because of war, because of conflicts in the regions, internal conflicts, natural disaster … Those are very challenging to fund,” she said. “We’re grateful to our donors who, when we asked, when we appealed to them, they responded.”

“Because of the resources you, our donors, are giving to us, I just want to say thank you for changing lives, for creating stability for people in the regions that we are working in,” she said.

Msgr. Vaccari reflected back on his visit to the Holy Land in December, requesting prayers and donations to assist our brothers and sisters who are suffering.

As Lent nears, Msgr. Vaccari informed viewers that the CNEWA staff will recite T.S. Eliot’s poem Ash Wednesday to share on YouTube, the CNEWA blog and social media.

Msgr. Vaccari also shared that later this month, CNEWA is cosponsoring a Concert for Peace fundraiser with St. Joseph by-the-Sea High School in Staten Island, New York. The evening will feature performances by the high school’s chorus and band, as well as from 10 elementary schools throughout the borough. The agency’s outreach extends beyond the immediate area of CNEWA HQ in New York and Msgr. Vaccari announced visits to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in February and to the dioceses of St. Augustine and Palm Beach in Florida at the end of February into early March.

Olivia Poust is assistant editor of ONE.

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