Journey to the Holy Land
In December, Msgr. John E. Kozar made his first pastoral visit to the Middle East as president of CNEWA and of the Pontifical Mission for Palestine. He traveled to Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and Palestine, where he observed firsthand the diverse activities of the agency, spoke with the people who direct these works and met with those who benefit from them. The three-week trip included meetings with the region’s Christian leadership, patriarchs, bishops and religious superiors, as well as engineers, doctors and midwives.
Msgr. Kozar’s journey culminated with a memorable visit to the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem, where he concelebrated Midnight Mass at Christmas with the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Fouad Twal.
Our readers can relive this “Journey to the Holy Land” by visiting our blog, One-to-One. Msgr. Kozar documented daily his observations, sending stories, pictures and videos of the people he met during his pastoral visit. For more from Msgr. Kozar’s trip, visit us online at www.cnewa.org/web/holylandblog.
On 6 January, Pope Benedict XVI named 22 new cardinals — including four with close ties to CNEWA.
The new cardinals include CNEWA’s chair and treasurer, Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York; Archbishop Thomas C. Collins of Toronto, who serves on the board of CNEWA Canada; Archbishop George Alencherry of Ernakulam-Angamaly, major archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, who serves as a trustee for CNEWA India; and Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.
The consistory for the creation of the cardinals will occur on 18 February.
Congratulations to all the cardinal-designates!
CNEWA’s four-star rating
Charity Navigator, the United States’ premier independent charity evaluator, recently reassessed CNEWA’s financial health and ethical practices. It awarded the agency the highest rating possible: four stars.
According to Charity Navigator, an organization that receives four stars is ranked as “exceptional” and “exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in its cause.”
As the organization notes: “Givers/investors can be more confident that in supporting those charities rated highly by Charity Navigator, they will be supporting organizations that are more financially healthy, accountable and transparent.”
The CNEWA family is proud of this result and grateful to all of its friends and benefactors who support the agency’s mission.
Sisters of Good Service
In early December, CNEWA’s regional director for Lebanon, Syria and Egypt, Issam Bishara, visited an orphanage school run by the Sisters of Good Service in the Lebanese village of Jabbouleh, about 50 miles northeast of Beirut near the Syrian border.
The CNEWA-sponsored home for needy children provides food, clothing, quality education and loving care.
To help support the institution, the sisters operate a farm on the premises. The sisters sell their produce and cow’s milk at local markets. They also make and sell cheeses and other dairy products, jams and pickled vegetables.
“As we left the sisters, we were reminded of the challenges faced by the sisters and so many people in Lebanon. We encountered dozens of protestors who had blocked the road with burning tires to object to the rising price of fuel,” said Mr. Bishara.
“The sisters are hoping to get 10 more cows, since the 15 they have now are aging and producing less milk. Let’s hope the cows have it easier getting to Jabbouleh than we did leaving it.”
Rest in Peace
A close friend of CNEWA, Cardinal John P. Foley, died on 11 December in his hometown, the Philadelphia suburb of Darby, after a battle with leukemia. He was 76 years old.
Cardinal Foley served as grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a chivalric organization that supports Christians in the Holy Land, from 2007 to 2011.
A graduate of the School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York, he is best known for his accomplished career in the media. From 1970 to 1984, he served as editor of Philadelphias archdiocesan newspaper, The Catholic Standard and Times, and from 1984 to 2007 he headed the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. May the Lord reward Cardinal Foley for the souls he touched with dignity, grace, humor and love.