CNEWA Raises Awareness in Rome
In January, CNEWA President Msgr. John E. Kozar cohosted a public forum and reception with the Holy See’s Congregation for the Eastern Churches to raise awareness among the Italian community of the needs of the Eastern churches and some of the issues challenging Christian families, especially in Egypt, Jordan and Syria.
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, Cardinal Edwin F. O’Brien, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, and Archbishop Terrence T. Prendergast, S.J., chair and treasurer of CNEWA Canada, joined Msgr. Kozar in welcoming more than 100 prominent members of the Italian community, including actors, artists, business leaders and regional and national politicians.
“Almost every day, in an area of the world called the Middle East, people face forces far greater than the destruction of a hurricane,” Msgr. Kozar said in an address that referenced the hurricane that had devastated parts of the East Coast of North America last autumn.
“They face the storms of conflict, hostility, hatred, poverty, injustice and religious and political persecution.
“At times, there is little hope of survival, let alone the opportunity to rebuild and to live in peace with hope.”
Read Msgr. Kozar’s full address at www.cnewa.org/web/romereception.
An Update from Gaza
In early February, Sami El-Yousef, CNEWA’s regional director for Palestine and Israel, traveled to Gaza to visit partners in the region and to see firsthand how the emergency intervention in the area is faring since the March 2012 truce between Hamas and Israel. “Despite the harsh reality on the ground, I was pleased to have the opportunity to visit with all our partners.” Mr. El-Yousef reported that CNEWA, through its operating agency in the Middle East, the Pontifical Mission for Palestine, had:
- Provided funding to the Al Ahli Arab Hospital and to three mother-and-child clinics to purchase medicines and supplies.
- Assisted four institutions — the Rosary Sisters School, the Holy Family School, the Latin Patriarchate School and the Greek Orthodox Cultural Center — with repairing structural damages sustained during the conflict.
- Provided help to 48 families — 40 of them Christian — to repair their damaged homes.
- Offered medical assistance to some 150 patients in need of hospitalization.
- Provided counseling services and treatment to hundreds of women and children bearing the invisible scars of war.
You can read Sami El-Yousef’s full report online at www.cnewa.org/web/gazafeb.
Life in a Refugee Camp for Syrian Families
Carl Hétu, CNEWA’s national director in Canada, traveled to the Holy Land in January and, in a blog post for ONE-TO-ONE, reported on the stark conditions in a refugee camp for Syrians he visited in Jordan.
“Six months ago, there was only a handful of refugees, but today there are over 100,000 registered people who have fled the war, the shelling and the violence that is unbearable for families. They are living in tents with barely the minimum to survive. … My only comfort is knowing that, thanks to generous North American Catholics, CNEWA is providing winter kits with heaters, blankets and food.”
With the support of donors and its international partners, CNEWA has reached displaced families inside Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, working through the local churches. Read more about how Syrian refugees are faring in Crossing the Border by Don Duncan.
Visit our Syria giving page at www.cnewa.org/web/syriajan to learn how you can help.
- The Orthodox Church of America enthroned former archbishop of Washington Tikhon Mollard as metropolitan of All America and Canada on 27 January.
- On 31 January, the Chaldean Church elected a new patriarch, who took the name Mar Louis Raphael I. His enthronement followed on 6 March.
- On 9 February, Mar George Madathikandathil was consecrated Syro-Malabar Catholic bishop of Kothamangalam in Kerala, India.
- In a 10 February ceremony in the city of Damascus, Orthodox Metropolitan Youhanna Yazigi was enthroned as patriarch of Antioch and All the East.
- Bulgarian Orthodox Metropolitan Neofit was elected and enthroned patriarch on 24 February in the cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky in Sofia.
- Abune Matthias, the archbishop of Jerusalem, was elected patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church on 28 February.
- On 12 March, in ceremonies in Cairo, the Coptic Catholic Church enthroned Ibrahim Issac as its new patriarch of Alexandria.