Beginning the Next 90 Years
This spring brings to a close the commemoration of CNEWA’s 90th anniversary. The past year has been a welcome opportunity for us to reflect on our roots — and the many branches of our family tree that have grown to touch so many corners of the world and impact so many lives.
Throughout this year, we have turned a spotlight on some of those who have contributed so much to our mission. Our blog, ONE-TO-ONE, has featured a series titled “90 Years, 90 Heroes,” saluting some of the figures — many of them largely unknown — who have helped to bring the love of Christ to those in need.
The Autumn 2016 edition of ONE magazine focused on “Answering the Call of the East,” with stories and profiles about the Eastern churches that CNEWA is privileged to serve.
Indeed, in this edition of this magazine, on Page 36, our president, Msgr. John E. Kozar, recalls in a personal way CNEWA’s deep connection and commitment to the Eastern churches.
“In my pastoral visits to many areas of the world,” he writes, “I am humbled by the richness of these Eastern churches — in their liturgical celebrations, their cultures, their ancient traditions, their strong desire to persevere in the faith and their abiding sense of hope.”
It is that very faith and hope we continue to cherish as we begin the next 90 years.
Building a School in Ukraine
CNEWA is continuing its support of the resurgent Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, helping to provide education for needy children through the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará. These religious sisters, originally from Argentina, have developed houses for orphans, single mothers and elderly women. Responding to an urgent need to build a school in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, near Ivano-Frankivsk, CNEWA is providing $50,000 for its construction.
CNEWA has provided a grant to Al Ahli Hospital, the only Christian-run hospital operating in the Gaza Strip, to procure and install solar panels for its operating rooms.
Both in times of war or peace, power outages have become commonplace in Gaza, among the most densely populated of cities in the world. Residents cope with fewer than eight hours of electricity a day. Once operational, the solar panels will provide much-needed power regularly.
In addition to supporting the hospital, CNEWA is partnering with the Y.M.C.A. and the Orthodox Cultural Center to provide another kind of power: providing work opportunities for unemployed Christian men and women so they can improve skills and provide incomes to support their families.
CNEWA and Congress
In late February, CNEWA was pleased to host a booth at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress — billed as the largest annual gathering of Catholics in North America. The congress, held in Anaheim, attracted some 40,000 people, some from as far away as the United Kingdom and Australia.
This year’s congress featured information, workshops, talks and liturgies representing a variety of cultures and languages. CNEWA development associate Debora Stonitsch, multimedia editor Deacon Greg Kandra, and external affairs officer Rev. Elias Mallon, S.A., Ph.D., were able to meet a lot of CNEWA’s friends from around the globe and introduce new friends to its mission.
If you would like CNEWA to visit your event or parish, please call toll free at 1-800-442-6392 (Ext. 504) or email email@example.com.
Uplifting the Poor in Armenia
Roughly a third of those living in Armenia — a former Soviet republic sandwiched between Georgia and Azerbaijan in the Caucasus Mountains — live at or below the poverty line. This year, encouraged by Archbishop Rafael Minassian, the ordinary for Armenian Catholics in Eastern Europe, CNEWA has stepped up its commitment for the works of the churches there, which support the poor in Armenia at every stage of life.
More than 300 disadvantaged children and their families — many of whom are affected by severe unemployment — receive support from the Little Prince Day Care Center in Artashat, a program of Caritas Armenia located in western Armenia near Turkey. Also in Artashat, CNEWA is helping Caritas to provide 60 elderly pensioners with medical, social and nursery care.
In the villages scattered in the northwest near Gyumri — many of them devastated by the December 1988 earthquake — CNEWA is working with Caritas to help provide food for 150 vulnerable families.
Finally, the archbishop commended a social program of the Armenian Apostolic Church intended to address the many social and economic issues dividing up disadvantaged families in the region of Ashtarak. The “Santa Mariane Project,” he writes, “is the first initiative that raises great interest and enthusiasm among the residents of the community.”