In September, Christians in India marked the 83rd birthday of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church with a rally in Kerala. It was on 20 September 1930 that a long-cherished dream of a small group of Malankara Orthodox Christians, led by the visionary Mar Ivanios, were received into full communion with the Catholic Church by Pope Pius XI. See our profile on the church at www.cnewa.org/web/syromalankara
CNEWA Canada at the Ukrainian Congress
In June, Canadian representatives of CNEWA attended a gathering in Saskatoon that brought together more than 200 delegates from the Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood of Canada and the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada. These two lay organizations have played a crucial role within the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Canada, contributing to the vitality of parish life and promoting the rich Ukrainian cultural and spiritual heritage among Canadians.
Antin Sloboda, from CNEWA’s Ottawa office, gave a presentation on the agency’s work globally and updated delegates on the agency’s current programs in Ukraine.
Since CNEWA Canada opened in 2005, there have been many encounters and collaborations between CNEWA and the Ukrainian Canadian community. To learn more about CNEWA’s work in Ukraine, please visit www.cnewa.ca/web/ukrainedonate
A Donor Turns 101
CNEWA charitable giving advisor Megan Knighton recently paid a visit to an extraordinary donor in Arizona.
“I was privileged to spend one morning with one of the most loyal members of our CNEWA family, Mrs. Cecilia Mazzoni,” Ms. Knighton wrote. “Mrs. Mazzoni just turned 101 in August and has been contributing to CNEWA for over 65 years. Talk about commitment to the poor! I asked her why she gives and she says because ‘that’s what Jesus would want.’”
Mrs. Mazzoni grew up poor herself, but said her parents always shared what they had with those who had less. This kind of generosity stayed with her — and it had a profound impact on CNEWA. Her parents were among the agency’s original supporters. Their membership card from 1926, the year CNEWA was founded by Pope Pius XI, is safely preserved in the agency’s archives.
Mrs. Mazzoni and her late husband, Frank, supported numerous clean water and food projects in Ethiopia and India, as well as dozens of children, novices and seminarians over the years. When her sister died unexpectedly, the Mazzoni family built a church in India in her memory.
“We are proud and grateful for the way she is making a difference in the lives of our brothers and sisters in need,” Ms. Knighton said. “She is a true inspiration! Thank you, Mrs. Mazzoni.”
Hundreds Attend Jordan Bible Camp
CNEWA’s office in Amman sponsored its summer Bible camp at St. Joseph School in Zerqa. The annual camp, coordinated by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, hosted Jordanian, Iraqi and Syrian children between the ages of 6 and 17 for one week. About 300 participants, mostly from low-income families, took part under the care of some 40 group leaders.
This year, activities fit the theme of “the Year of Faith,” including lessons from Scripture, songs, prayers and hymns.
The camp was founded to strengthen the Christian faith of children through spiritual activities, liturgies, games, sports and more.
Helping Armenian Syrian Refugees
In August, CNEWA launched a program in conjunction with the Howard Karagheusian Commemorative Corporation to help Armenian Syrian refugee families.
“Syrian refugees now living in Lebanon have profound humanitarian needs that are not being met,” writes CNEWA’s Issam Bishara, regional director for Lebanon, Syria and Egypt. “In addition to supplying food, daily personal necessities, fuel and winter packages, we felt the need to respond to the educational, psychological and medical needs of Syria’s Armenians seeking relief from war.”
CNEWA — in partnership with Armenian Apostolic, Catholic and Evangelical churches — is providing students with classes to help them better adapt to the Lebanese education system and offering support and training for displaced women. The same project now extends to three other locations with partners in the Bekaa Valley and Mount Lebanon.
An Extraordinary Gift
In September, the CNEWA family was moved when we received a generous donation from the Monastery of Poor Clares in Cleveland, Ohio — a community of sisters who live in great simplicity and poverty, adhering to the humble values of St. Clare and St. Francis.
“In addition to our daily prayers and sacrifices for our sisters and brothers in Syria, we are sending you the enclosed check to help alleviate their needs,” wrote the abbess. “It may be the largest check our community has ever written, but we know the need is so great and their lives so full of suffering that we want to share what the Lord has given us. We have several Syrian friends, both Christian and Muslim, whose families had their homes in Homs and Damascus. We feel very close to all people of Syria.”
The letter concluded: “We pray for you and all at CNEWA, asking God to be with you and assist you in the good work you are doing. And we beg your prayers for our community in return.”
Our prayers are with these generous sisters, in deep gratitude and great joy. May God continue to bless their prayerful lives.
What Donors Should Know
Periodically, CNEWA receives inquiries about how donations are used. In October, Bob Pape, who directs our efforts for major gifts, described in a blog post how we follow “four fundamental points,” outlining how CNEWA keeps donors informed. For full details, you can read the post at www.cnewablog.ORG/web/whenyougive
New Auxiliary Bishop in India
On 21 September, Mar Jose Puthenveetil was installed as an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly in the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church. The ceremony took place at St. Mary’s Basilica in Cochin.
Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, the apostolic nuncio to India, welcomed the new bishop on behalf of Pope Francis.
Prior to this appointment, Father Puthenveetil served as the pro-vicar general of the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly. He was ordained a priest in 1987.
CNEWA Involved in Conference on Syria
CNEWA’s Beirut office assisted the Catholic German association Missio in preparing a special conference in Beirut examining the situation of Christians in Syria.
From 30 September to 1 October, the event brought together members of the local and European churches and representatives from various nongovernmental organizations.
The goal of the conference was to enhance coordination between the churches in light of the growing number of Syrian refugees. By one report, the number of Syrian refugees next year could grow to 2.1 million — representing 51 percent of the Lebanese population. The customs office on the Lebanon-Syria border reported recently that as many as 5,000 refugees cross the border on a daily basis.
Msgr. Kozar on the Holy Land
In late September, CNEWA president Msgr. John E. Kozar was the featured speaker at the annual investiture ceremonies of the Northwestern Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre in Seattle, Washington. Continuing CNEWA’s commitment to the ongoing formation of the knights and ladies of the ancient order, Msgr. Kozar updated members of the order on key developments in the region, spotlighting the church’s apostolic and charitable work.