ONE Magazine

The official publication of
Catholic Near East Welfare Association

Celebrating 50 years | God • World • Human Family • Church


to CNEWA’s world

CNEWA Responds in Africa

The drought in the Horn of Africa has placed millions of people at risk of starvation and sparked a worldwide call to action — and CNEWA has responded.

Following a generous outpouring from donors, CNEWA has rushed funds to our team members on the ground, who are working with local church partners to assess and prioritize the needs and expedite the response.

To date, this has included feeding thousands of children and their families during the summer months, supporting 1,000 pregnant women and feeding 700 elderly people.

Late in August, a member of the Daughters of St. Anne wrote to thank our donors for the “generous support extended to our needy children. … The food program supports more than 10,000 children.”

It “has been so effective in helping the children to remain in school,” she wrote. “We hope you will continue your kind support of our children in our region [as we work] to eradicate illiteracy and shape the moral and spiritual lives of our children.”

Visit to learn how you can help.

Befriending the Friendless

A CNEWA grant of $15,000 has changed the lives of villagers in a tribal hamlet in the northeastern Indian region of Bastar.

“If we are not their friends, they have no friends,” wrote Sister Jancy Vattakanal, superior general of the Deen Bandu Samaj Sisters, a Syro-Malabar Catholic community working among the villagers of Koppaguda, whom society and government consider “untouchables.”

The grant enabled the sisters to provide medicine and health care at the only available hospice in the area.

“They are enjoying the moments they have lost,” Sister Jancy wrote to CNEWA’s regional director in India, M.L. Thomas, assuring him of the community’s prayers and love for all in the CNEWA family supporting their work in India.

Gaza Update

Two years after the cessation of hostilities in Gaza, “there does not appear to be any major reconstruction of the thousands of homes that were destroyed during the war, nor any real investment in business development,” reports CNEWA’s regional director for Palestine and Israel, Sami El-Yousef.

Yet, there are some signs of promise. The Rosary Sisters School will welcome 900 students in the new academic year, major renovations are underway at the Latin Parish and the YMCA has remained active and busy during the summer months.

“Gaza continues to inspire so many of us,” Mr. El-Yousef wrote. “Our partners are optimistic despite all the odds. … Our job is to learn from them and not to disappoint them.”

To Be a Seminarian in Iraq

CNEWA continues to support the spiritual formation of priests and sisters as one of its core programs. For the men studying to join the priesthood in Kurdistan, a region in northern Iraq, this reliable support helps sustain them even as danger is within striking distance.

One CNEWA donor shared a letter she received from Rody Butrus, a seminarian she supports through our program currently beginning his theological studies at Babel College in Erbil.

“I am originally from Alqosh Diocese,” he writes. “I want to share with you some facts about our living situation.

“Since 6 August 2014, ISIS has occupied 60 percent of our diocese. At this time, we are very close to ISIS; in fact we are only 18 kilometers [about 11 miles] away.

“It’s a very dangerous situation living here, but we are still living our daily lives. We had a very difficult time; we lost many people and our churches were destroyed. They wanted to erase our history, invading our villages and many other things.

“We have hardships, and many daily challenges,” he says, but adds, “I am happy with my call. I hope to remain close to people, close to my church, and I hope to be able to give hope to all my families and friends.”

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