CNEWA’s president, Msgr. John E. Kozar, and members from CNEWA’s regional office in Kerala attended celebrations in New Delhi on 17-18 November to mark the 50th anniversary of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church’s efforts to evangelize beyond its center in Kerala.
The two-day event brought religious and community leaders from the Latin, Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara Catholic churches to discuss among other topics the role of the Syro-Malabar Church in India’s development.
Invited by Major Archbishop Cardinal George Alencherry of Ernakulam-Angamaly, Msgr. Kozar delivered the keynote address, which focused on the missionary challenges of the Syro-Malabar Church.
“Fifty years ago, after centuries of suffering — losing much of your identity as an Eastern church, after breaking the shackles of Latinization,” he said, “the spirit of St. Thomas broke through and you undertook a bold, risky venture to go where others would not. You set out for Chanda.”
To read Msgr. Kozar’s full address, please visit cnewa.org/web/syromalabarkozar.
CNEWA continues its ongoing program to assist in the formation and education of members of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, which is commissioned by the Holy See to support the Christian presence in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine.
On 7 October, CNEWA’s Father Guido Gockel, M.H.M., and Michael La Civita addressed the members of the Western Lieutenancy at their annual investiture held this year in Palm Springs, California.
To read Mr. La Civita’s remarks, which focused on the current situation of Christians in the Middle East, please visit cnewa.org/web/sepulchreremarks.
On 8 December, at the Lady Chapel of the Cathedral of St. Patrick in New York City, Msgr. Kozar gave a day of recollection for members of the order’s Eastern Lieutenancy, which he had joined on 29 September.
This year, CNEWA has posted online its consolidated annual report for 2011 as an interactive multimedia feature.
The report features a series of brief videos in which Msgr. Kozar offers personal impressions from some of the places we serve and shares some of his own pictures from his travels. It also includes facts and figures about where and how CNEWA uses the funds it receives from its generous donors.
To view the full report, please visit cnewa.org/web/annualreport.
CNEWA continues to assist Syrians displaced by civil war. Most recently, we began working with the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in Homs to provide food rations to more than 400 local families. We have also partnered with the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch to aid over 1,000 needy children displaced with their families to Wadi al Nasarah and other areas outside Homs.
In Aleppo, CNEWA has partnered with Oeuvre Pontificale Missionaire, which has registered around 1,450 displaced families from all confessions and launched a food distribution program from the basement of a church. In addition, we are supporting relief efforts of the Jesuit Refugee Services.
CNEWA continues to raise funds for winter survival kits, which include warm clothes and heating oil.
The New Shepherd in Egypt
By: Carl Hétu
I was saddened to hear about the death of Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda III this past winter. He was well-respected and he had accomplished so much during his 40 years as pope.
The Coptic Orthodox Church needed to find a successor, so the election took place on November 4, 2012. The chosen successor was Bishop Tawardos. A few years ago, I had the privilege of meeting this holy man who now leads the largest Christian community in the Middle East.
When I met Bishop Tawadros back in 2004, he was in charge of a diocese that stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to the desert. During our visit, he spent most of his time explaining why young people were a priority for his church. He mentioned to us that there can be no church without youth. He said that young people need all our attention so that they can be the ones to continue Jesus’ teachings of forgiveness and reconciliation in Egypt, despite the ongoing discrimination and pressure put on them.
We visited his newly built retreat center for youth near Alexandria. This place gives young Copts from the desert area of Egypt an education in fields such as tourism, computers and other trades. One year after it was completed, two mosques with very loud speakers were built right next door to the center on two different lots that were the property of Muslims. I was shocked, to say the least, since there were barely any Muslims living in this predominantly Christian neighbourhood. He introduced me to that reality in Egypt and invited me not to make a big deal out of it but instead to pray for his Muslim brothers and to help Christians in his country to remain strong.
In 1999, Bishop Tawadros helped construct a church in Upper Egypt, which is the only church in the area. It is also a center that provides medical, spiritual and educational services to the children of needy families.
In 2004, due to increasing need, the bishop built a dispensary. Several doctors from Alexandria make regular visits and provide medical services to the patients for free. Approximately 150 patients benefit from the services each month. CNEWA has contributed to the construction of the center, and in equipping an ophthalmology clinic as well as a laboratory.
Meeting Bishop Tawadros left a positive impression on me and I truly wish him all the best as he begins his time as the shepherd of the Coptic Orthodox people.