ONE Magazine

The official publication of
Catholic Near East Welfare Association

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


Updates from CNEWA's world

Msgr. Vaccari in Ukraine

Msgr. Peter I. Vaccari, CNEWA president, made two pastoral trips to Ukraine this summer in a spirit of solidarity and concern for a people suffering from war, upon the invitation of Ukrainian Catholic University, Caritas Ukraine and the curia of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. He was accompanied on his first trip, 4-7 June, by a CNEWA delegation, which included Adriana Bara, national director for CNEWA in Canada, and Anna Dombrovska, programs officer who focuses on CNEWA’s work in Ukraine. They visited CNEWA-funded programs in western Ukraine, such as Sheptytsky Hospital in Lviv, the Basilian seminary and monastery, a child care center, a food box distribution center, and a center for orphaned and vulnerable girls, run by the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate.

From 20 to 28 August, Msgr. Vaccari traveled to central and eastern Ukraine, visiting CNEWA-funded programs supported by the curia of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and Caritas Ukraine, including stops in Kyiv, Bucha, Irpin and Makariv. He also met with Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kyiv-Halych, Tetiana Stawnychy, president of Caritas Ukraine, and Metropolitan Borys Gudziak of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, who was also in Ukraine on a pastoral visit.

“It is so important for our partners on the ground to know they are not alone, that the worldwide CNEWA family is committed to know and support their work, and to stand in solidarity with the suffering of the Ukrainian people on every level,” said Msgr. Vaccari upon his return. 

“These site visits allow for a better understanding of the war’s impact on the church and the people, and gives us better insight to offer better support.”

To support CNEWA’s ongoing work in Ukraine, go to:

Beirut, Three Years Later

Three years after the Beirut port blast on 4 August 2020 killed 200 people and injured another 6,000, the city is on the path toward healing, although socioeconomic and political volatility complicate this process, said Michel Constantin, CNEWA’s regional director for Lebanon.

The houses and buildings on the main streets have been repaired, and shops and restaurants have reopened. Beirut has received more than 2 million tourists this summer — almost half the city’s population — inspiring hope for the local economy. More than 70 percent of the tourists were Lebanese living in the diaspora. 

Despite these improvements, the absence of government and dysfunctional political and financial systems have left many without the assistance they need, said Mr. Constantin. About 80 percent of Lebanon’s population lives in poverty. Families live in darkness for up to 18 hours a day, as they cannot afford a generator for electricity. Nor do they do have the funds to afford a propane cylinder to prepare a hot meal, buy medication, seek health care or provide tuition for their children’s education.

Death of Archbishop Gervais

Archbishop Marcel A. Gervais, archbishop emeritus of Ottawa, Canada, and founder of CNEWA in Canada, died on 6 August. He was 91.

Archbishop Gervais was ordained a priest for the Diocese of London, Ontario, in 1958, and then auxiliary bishop in 1980. He was named bishop of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, in 1985, and then archbishop of Ottawa in 1989. In 2003, he accepted an invitation from the Congregation for Eastern Churches to establish a national office of CNEWA in Canada, serving as its first president until his retirement in 2007.

Archbishop Marcel Damphousse of Ottawa-Cornwall, current chair of the CNEWA Canada board, described Archbishop Gervais’s death as “an incredible loss” and expressed gratitude “for the important work he did” in supporting the Eastern churches.

Archbishop Marcel Gervais, archbishop emeritus of Ottawa and the first president of CNEWA Canada’s board, died on 6 August. His funeral was held at Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica in Ottawa on 14 August. (photo: CNEWA Canada)

New Cardinals Created

Pope Francis appointed 21 churchmen to join the College of Cardinals in July, including Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, prefect of the Dicastery for the Eastern Churches, and Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin patriarch of Jerusalem. The new cardinals are to be installed during a consistory at the Vatican on 30 September. 

CNEWA has long collaborated with Cardinal Gugerotti, first in his role at the former Congregation for Eastern Churches and then in his years as nuncio in Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine and Belarus, as well as with Cardinal Pizzaballa since his election as Custos of the Holy Land. Many years!

CNEWA’s December Gala

Mark your calendar! CNEWA will hold its second annual gala on Tuesday, 5 December, at a private club in New York. This year’s Healing & Hope Gala will focus on the heroic work conducted by the church in the fight against human trafficking and other forms of modern slavery.

CNEWA will honor as its special guest Good Shepherd Sister Marie Claude Naddaf, who has been assisting victims of violence and working to stop human trafficking in the Middle East for more than 25 years. CNEWA will also confer its Faith and Culture Award to John J. Studzinski, C.B.E., for his longtime advocacy and work in support of trafficking victims.

For more, call 212-826-1480 ext. 550 or visit To be a sponsor or donate to the cause, email

La Civita Named Lieutenant

CNEWA’s director of communications, Michael J.L. La Civita, was appointed lieutenant of the Eastern Lieutenancy of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, which includes knights and dames in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and the Bahamas, effective 14 October. He was invested in 2009, has served on its board of councilors since 2014, and as chancellor since 2020. 

This chivalric order of the Catholic Church supports Christians in the Middle East, including Christian schools, social service programs and other church initiatives. CNEWA has long supported the order’s work and the formation of its members.

Read this article in our digital print format here.

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