Doing Cartwheels and Celebrating Women

With so many war orphans in her care, Sister Maria worries how she can feed them all.

Norma Intriago is a fundraiser in the development office of CNEWA in New York.

With so many war orphans in her care, Sister Maria worries how she can feed them all. But today, thanks to you, she has hope. Hope for the neediest children in Iraq — and all of her sisters serving the poor in CNEWA’s world.

May God bless every single one of you who made a generous gift to our Celebrating Women campaign. You may remember a special benefactor of CNEWA pledged to match you dollar-for-dollar. I’m writing to tell you the promise was kept. The power of your generosity has been doubled!

Sister Maria isn’t the only beneficiary of your gift. Another is Sister Ayelech. She runs a humble Catholic school in Ethiopia that I visited. Her school is a home-away-from-home for some very poor children. I witnessed how she stretches every dollar so it really counts.

It was summer when I visited. School was out and some of the children had no one to watch after them. With almost no money, Sister Ayelech created her own “summer school.” She turned simple mattresses into a fun gymnasium. Thread and needles became crafts class.

Sister Ayelech even rescued discarded sewing machines from a local dump. These were transformed into an opportunity for jobless mothers to earn money to care for their families — and earn another valuable currency: hope.

With you standing behind them, Sister Ayelech and Sister Maria can continue serving the poor and witnessing to the Gospel in some of the poorest places on earth.

On behalf of all the religious women with whom CNEWA partners, I thank you for your celebration gift. And remember: you didn’t give just one gift. With the dollar-for-dollar match, you gave two. Be sure the sisters will double their grateful prayers to God for you.

Oh, and one more piece of great news: You inspired yet another benefactor of CNEWA to offer an additional matching gift challenge — $50,000 for the formation of novice sisters. You’ll hear more about it soon. Until then, thanks again!

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