Connections With Msgr. Peter: ‘Vigilance and Hope’

On Giving Tuesday, Msgr. Peter I. Vaccari and Deirdre O’Brien, CNEWA’s director of development, discussed the agency’s fundraising priorities on the November installment of “Connections With Msgr. Peter.”

Msgr. Vaccari opened in prayer, drawing upon Paul’s writing to the Philippians: “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (4:6).

He then provided updates on CNEWA’s world, particularly the Holy Land. He and the CNEWA team remain in contact with the agency’s Jerusalem office, which is leading the response on the ground, as well as with CNEWA’s offices in Beirut and Amman.

CNEWA also remains active and in constant communication with its offices and partners in other high-conflict areas, such as Ukraine, Ethiopia and India, he said, before introducing Ms. O’Brien.

Ms. O’Brien, who joined CNEWA in July, outlined her priorities and strategy as director of development: raise mission and impact awareness, increase revenue and forge new partnerships with other similar foundations and organizations.

“I don’t think enough people know about the work that CNEWA does,” she said. “We don’t want it to be the best kept secret anymore. We want as many people as we can to know about it.” 

She also highlighted CNEWA’s Emergency Relief campaign for the Holy Land, which was the focus of fundraising this Giving Tuesday. The campaign goal of $500,000 is nearly halfway met.

“The work that we do, where we do it, the success of it, is not possible unless we’re raising the money,” said Ms. O’Brien.

Donations to CNEWA are “really making a difference in people’s lives, sometimes saving people’s lives,” she said.

Msgr. Vaccari reminded viewers of the importance of prayer, of being informed and donating in response to the needs in CNEWA’s world.

With the start of Advent on 3 December, he pointed to the season’s themes of “vigilance and hope.”

“Join us in being prophets, prophets of hope,” he said. “The first and most powerful instrument that we have is the power of prayer.”

The CNEWA president also highlighted some upcoming events, including the “Healing & Hope” Gala on 5 December and a CNEWA Concert for Peace on 21 February at St. Joseph by-the-Sea High School on Staten Island.

Olivia Poust is assistant editor of ONE.

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