CNEWA is starting a new series of monthly webinars with live updates from CNEWA’s world, called “Connections With Msgr. Peter.” This Wednesday, 8 June, at 12 p.m. EDT, Msgr. Vaccari will speak from Jerusalem, an important stop on his first trip to Israel, Palestine and Jordan since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
The webinars are intended for donors and friends of CNEWA to learn more about the mission and work of the papal agency.
“Connections With Msgr. Peter” builds on a webinar, held on 11 May, when Msgr. Vaccari shared his reflections from his recent trip to Ukraine, Poland and Slovakia. He traveled with a CNEWA delegation, led by CNEWA chair Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, from 29 April to May 3. The visit was intended to demonstrate solidarity with Ukrainian refugees and the Catholic organizations assisting them.
He also gave the audience an overview of CNEWA’s work, mission and history, which was founded in 1926 by Pope Pius XI to support the Eastern churches in the Middle East, Northeast Africa, India and Eastern Europe and to support and advance their pastoral and humanitarian work.
“What’s most important here is for us to understand and to appreciate that CNEWA never operates in isolation,” he said. “Our work is a work with the local church.”
The agency is guided by the “fundamental Gospel mandate to feed the poor, to give drink to the thirsty,” he underlined.
He highlighted some of the crises impacting the regions where CNEWA works: the economic crisis in Lebanon, the ongoing violence and hunger in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, the rebuilding in Iraq after ISIS, the federal legislation in India that restricts foreign donations to nonprofit organizations, and the war in Ukraine.
“There is no part of the world where CNEWA is working that is not impacted by the war in Europe,” said Msgr. Vaccari, referring to the war’s impact on food supplies, especially to the world’s already impoverished countries.
CNEWA is “on the ground,” he said, explaining that the agency’s regional offices and long-standing collaboration with local Christian communities is in service to all people, regardless of creed.
“We don’t just come in, address an issue and leave,” he said. “We are there to be with the people.”
To register for the first “Connections With Msgr. Vaccari,” live from the Holy Land, on Wednesday, 8 June, at 12 p.m. EDT, click here.