ONE Magazine

The official publication of
Catholic Near East Welfare Association

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


Updates from CNEWA’s world

Spreading the Word

Msgr. Peter I. Vaccari, CNEWA president, has prioritized parish visits to meet more of the agency’s friends and donors and to introduce it to new audiences. 

In February and March, he visited the archdioceses of Cincinnati and Louisville, Kentucky, and the dioceses of St. Augustine and Palm Beach in Florida. 

In May, Msgr. Vaccari visited St. Michael the Archangel parish in Indianapolis, and he plans to visit parishes in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Minneapolis in June.

It is a “privilege to preach” in these parishes and “to let people know how the Gospel is connected and can be connected in real life,” he said. “CNEWA is an example of how you can do it.”

Learn more about upcoming parish visits:

Aid Continues in Gaza

CNEWA-Pontifical Mission continues to coordinate efforts and partner with local church and humanitarian organizations to provide basic needs for the people in Gaza impacted by the military conflict between Israel and Hamas.

From October until February, donations made by CNEWA provided hot meals to 760 displaced Gazans sheltering at two parish churches in Gaza City — St. Porphyrios and Holy Family — as well as those in the vicinity and other neighborhoods.

The aid also included essential medicines for those with chronic illnesses and diseases, as well as hygiene kits, diapers, fuel, cooking gas, bottled water and cleaning supplies.

In March and April, CNEWA-Pontifical Mission worked in coordination with a local communal food kitchen to deliver food aid to displaced people in Gaza City and Rafah. Donations given to CNEWA also support the ongoing delivery of food packages to 150 families in Gaza City and 400 families in Rafah.

Fighting Drought in Ethiopia  

Drought in northern Ethiopia has made it difficult for children to attend school due to hunger, thirst and exhaustion. Argaw Fantu, CNEWA’s regional director in Ethiopia, fears as many as 200,000 will drop out for these reasons. 

Mr. Fantu visited schools in the Eparchy of Adigrat in the northern Tigray region that are part of CNEWA’s feeding program, benefiting 8,000 students. These schools report students returning and improved performance thanks to the provision of nutritious biscuits. 

Bishop Tesfaselassie Medhin of Adigrat appealed to CNEWA for help: “The population of Tigray and neighboring regions have suffered years of war, drought and disease — and have demonstrated a resilience few can believe — and we pray that we make it through this crisis.”

Law Raises Red Flag

Georgia’s parliament passed “foreign agent” legislation on 14 May that could restrict the work of civil society and religious organizations, including its Armenian, Chaldean and Roman Catholic churches. The president vetoed the legislation on 18 May, but Georgia’s majority ruling party overrode the veto on 28 May. The law will come into force once it is signed by the president or speaker of parliament and published.

Once enacted, the law will require organizations receiving more than 20 percent of their funding from abroad to register with the government as “agents of foreign influence,” thus enabling the government to monitor, limit or even shut down their activities. CNEWA supports the work of the churches in Georgia, such as Caritas, and will continue to follow developments.

Similar legislation was passed last year but repealed due to public protest. The latest iteration of the bill drove tens of thousands to protest in concern for the republic’s fragile democracy, prompting officials of the Orthodox Church, the preeminent institution of the nation, to call for talks between legislators and protesters to resolve the “political crisis.”

Caritas Georgia at the U.N.

Catholic organizations, including longtime CNEWA partner Caritas Georgia, took part in an official side event of the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women on 19 March, sponsored by the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the U.N. and Caritas Internationalis.

Anahit Mkhoyan represented Caritas Georgia on the panel on the theme, “Fragile Contexts, Strong Women: The Role of Faith-Based Organizations in Promoting Women’s Leadership.” She spoke of the need for cultural and contextual awareness when effecting social transformation to ensure cultural values or practices are not contradicted and transformation is sustainable.

Archbishop Gabriele G. Caccia, permanent observer of the Holy See to the U.N., and Anahit Mkhoyan of Caritas Georgia, participate in a panel at the U.N. (photo: Caritas Internationalis)

Save the Date!

CNEWA will be hosting its third annual Healing & Hope Gala on Thursday, 5 December, at a private club in Manhattan. As in past years, the gala will recognize people who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the peoples served by the Eastern churches. Stay tuned for details!

CNEWA at the L.A. Congress

Father Elias Mallon, S.A., special assistant to the president of CNEWA, presented two talks during this year’s Religious Education Congress in Los Angeles in February. An expert on Middle East studies and Christian-Muslim dialogue, he spoke on “Two Thousand Years of Christianity in Mesopotamia,” and “Biblical ‘Geography’ and the Modern World.”

Read this article in our digital print format here.

Get to know us and stay informed about the impact your support makes.

Nous constatons que votre préférence linguistique est le français.
Voudriez-vous être redirigé sur notre site de langue française?

Oui! Je veux y accéder.

Hemos notado que su idioma preferido es español. ¿Le gustaría ver la página de Asociación Católica para el Bienestar del Cercano Oriente en español?

Vee página en español