Connections With Msgr. Peter: Spring Updates From CNEWA

CNEWA’s spring activities were the main focus on the latest installment of “Connections With Msgr. Peter” on 24 May.

Msgr. Peter Vaccari, CNEWA president, spoke about his visit to Rome in April for the reopening of the agency’s office at the Vatican and for a ceremony honoring Bishop William Murphy, bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, with CNEWA’s Faith and Culture Award.

He then traveled to Nicosia, Cyprus, to attend the Symposium of Churches in the Middle East in Nicosia, Cyprus, organized by the Dicastery for Eastern Churches, from 20 to 23 April. The theme, “Rooted in Hope,” centered around “the state of the church in and throughout the Middle East” and welcomed some 250 Eastern church representatives and seven patriarchs, along with lay and religious men and women working with the church in the Middle East, said Msgr. Vaccari.

“The work of CNEWA is the work that really embraces the geographical region from the Nile to the Indus River,” he said. “It was important for those who are involved to gather there and to be able to reflect on the life of the church, and it was a fruitful exercise in our being able to do that.”

Msgr. Vaccari provided an overview of other CNEWA events, such as its inaugural golf classic on 18 May, which served as an opportunity to develop and cultivate friendships.

“In the end, it’s all about mission. Everything we do is about the mission,” he said. “Our prayer, our dissemination of information by way of advocacy and our fundraising. This all converges our mission and … we all seek to be agents of hope.”

On 15 May, CNEWA reopened its photo exhibit, “ ‘And Who is My Neighbor?’ The Faces of CNEWA,” at The Sheen Center for Thought and Culture in New York. The exhibit, which had its first run in November, will continue until 15 June.

Msgr. Vaccari concluded the episode by asking viewers to pray for the people of Ukraine, as well as the people of Ethiopia and Sudan, who are being devastated by the conflict in Sudan through violence and displacement.

“I thank you for your prayers, for your advocacy and for your humanitarian support, which allow us to help the people in Ethiopia,” said Msgr. Vaccari.

“Please join us. Join us as agents of hope. That is my great cry, that is my great plea at this particular time,” he said.

Olivia Poust is assistant editor of ONE.

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