ONE Magazine

The official publication of
Catholic Near East Welfare Association

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


to CNEWA’s world

Helping Form the Church

In this issue of ONE, we look at how CNEWA is accompanying the church in one particular way: through the formation of religious and lay leaders.

For decades, CNEWA has helped support and educate seminarians, novices and catechists, raising up priests, religious and the laity in some of the most challenging areas of the world. These efforts have fed people not only physically, but also spiritually, and helped to define CNEWA’s mission.

As you will read in this edition, thanks to the generosity of our donors, the work of CNEWA lives on through those we have helped form. This is CNEWA: We are the religious sisters who offer tender care to the orphans of war in Iraq; we are the young men studying to be priests in the humble villages in India; we are lay prison chaplains changing lives by bringing the faith to prisoners in Ethiopia. And that is only the beginning.

We invite you to discover more throughout the pages of this magazine — and to read Msgr. John E. Kozar’s reflections on formation. These stories reveal the beautiful heart of CNEWA’s work, as we strive to bind the wounds of a broken world.

‘Smart Classroom’ in India

A few months ago, CNEWA helped complete the renovation of a “smart classroom” equipped with the latest computer technology at the Snehalayam Boys Home in Kerala, India.

The home is run by the Malabar Missionary Brothers, who help care for and teach about 90 poor children and young people at the home. The brothers are engaged in a variety of important ministries in the area: teaching catechism, taking care of orphaned boys, caring for older men who are destitute, training and teaching children with special needs, providing vocational training for the unemployed youth and offering health care in rural areas.

The smart classroom is equipped with 12 computers and an L.E.D. projector — and it is hoped these additions will create new opportunities for learning.

“We are grateful to CNEWA,” the brothers wrote. “Thank you for the generous contributions to the Snehalayam Boys Home!”

Orphan, Nun, Nurse

We were pleased to receive this note from Ursuline Sister Nigisti Desta, who grew up in a CNEWA-supported orphanage in Ethiopia.

“I attended Blessed Gebremichael Catholic School in Mekele,” she wrote. “While at the orphanage, I took not only academic classes, but also religious classes from the sisters. These became the cornerstones of my life. I learned how to do household chores and how to live in a community.

“What the sisters were doing for us — motherly care, showing love, fulfilling our needs — was very touching. I remember all these things. Sometimes, donations would arrive, and the sisters would use the money to buy shoes and clothes for us. They told us that there are supporters behind the scenes, especially CNEWA.”

Sister Nigisti eventually joined the Ursuline congregation and went on to study at medical school. “With God’s will and guidance, together with the support of generous donors like CNEWA and the maternal care and love of the Ursuline Sisters, upon completing my medical studies I would like to serve my congregation — and, in particular, the people of Kobo in the neighborhood where I grew up.

“I can say confidently that I am the product o f CNEWA’s support. Thank you so much. May God bless all of you. I keep you in my prayers.”

A New Chapel in Ukraine

As reported in the December 2017 edition of ONE, CNEWA has been helping nurture the growing Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine. Our article described a small parish in Mala Vilshanka, south of Kiev, where members of the parish have been meeting for liturgies inside an abandoned building that was once used to develop grain seeds.

That may soon change. We recently received word that the parish laid the cornerstone for a new chapel, thanks to the support of CNEWA, in January. The Rev. Ihor Hrishchenko expressed his gratitude to CNEWA’s donors, writing, “We believe that our common prayer and your generous donation will help us praise God.”

Catechism in Bethlehem

CNEWA is proud to be supporting a catechism program at St. Catherine’s Church in Bethlehem. The program provides about 350 children, of ages 4 to 12, with the opportunity to learn more about the Bible.

Many of the children come from poor families and are able to enjoy field trips to some of the sacred sites in the region, including the Jordan River, Tiberias and the Mount of Beatitudes, learning about the connections of these holy places with their faith.

“Children also have a chance to discuss issues related to their identity as Christians and as Palestinians,” says Joseph Hazboun, CNEWA’s regional director for Palestine and Israel. “This is an important topic of discussion among Palestinian youth as many continue to struggle with issues of identity as a result of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

He adds that children share their experiences with their parents and families, drawing their families closer to the church.

Care for Patients in India

CNEWA is funding a palliative home care service run by the Little Flower Fathers in the Syro-Malabar Eparchy of Kanjirappally in Kerala. In February, we received an update and a note of gratitude from the congregation’s home care service, which is known as “Pallimed.”

Through the generosity of CNEWA’s donors, Pallimed was able to buy a number of important medical instruments — including physiotherapy items for bedridden patients, folding walkers and wheelchairs and devices to help with the treatment of vascular circulation and pain for patients with osteoarthritis.

“The medical team has visited hundreds of bedridden people in three villages,” Pallimed wrote. “They spend enough time with the sick ones and their family to provide necessary medical support and also palliative treatment to the patients.”

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