Displaced Families Aided
In little more than a month, generous benefactors throughout North America and Europe have given CNEWA more than US$625,000 to assist the agencys emergency relief and development efforts in Lebanon.
The shelling of Lebanon temporarily displaced nearly a million people, or a quarter of the nations total population of 3.9 million. Most families sought shelter in Christian neighborhoods north of Beirut, which were considered safe.
CNEWAs Pontifical Mission staff in Beirut distributed emergency supplies to more than 2,350 needy families about 12,000 people seeking shelter in three areas near Beirut, Jbeil, Kesserwan and Metn.
Our staff coordinated its efforts with displacement centers set up to handle the influx of refugees, most of whom fled with little food and almost no cash. Aid consisted of a weeks supply of canned food, oil, diapers, detergents, hygienic supplies and toilet paper.
A New Face in Ethiopia
On 17 July, Gerald Jones joined our executive staff as deputy regional director for Ethiopia, where he will work closely with Christian Brother Vincent Pelletier, regional director. Mr. Jones came to CNEWA shortly after his retirement from 15 years of distinguished service with the American Red Cross. He has many years of experience in Ethiopia, having first served there as a Peace Corps volunteer.
Ive worked with a lot of nongovernmental organizations over the years, but CNEWA offered a chance to do something unique, Mr. Jones said.
From working in Ethiopia so long, Ive seen how important the work of the Eastern churches is in Ethiopia, and it was something I wanted to be involved in. Mr. Jones also has special family ties to the country. His wife and her family are Ethiopian.
Maronite Archbishop Honored
Maronite Archbishop Francis M. Zayek, 86, was the guest of honor at celebrations in Detroit 10-11 July, marking the 40th anniversary of the presence of a Maronite bishop in the United States.
Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, led the festivities.
Born in Cuba, the archbishops family returned to Lebanon when he was 12.
Ordained to the episcopacy in 1962, he was charged with gathering the dispersed Maronite community in Brazil.
Four years later, he was appointed Apostolic Exarch for the U.S. Maronite community, with its seat in Detroit. Archbishop Zayek moved the eparchial see to Brooklyn in 1979 and in 1995 supervised the establishment of a second eparchy for the care of Maronites in the western United States.
Going Home Again and Again
Ophthalmologist Henry J. Zeiter of Stockton, California, disproves the theory that you cannot go home again. Born in the northern Lebanese village of Serhel some 70 years ago, he has not forgotten his homeland. Though he left the country with his family when he was a teenager, he takes a vital interest in Lebanon and has visited many times. Working through CNEWA, he is determined to help his war-damaged country.
With assistance of Issam Bishara, CNEWAs regional director for Lebanon, Syria and Egypt, Dr. Zeiter is tapping into his network of family and friends to fund village redevelopment projects.
A favorite retreat in Serhel is St. Michael Maronite Church, where Dr. Zeiter was baptized. When he noticed several years ago that its frescoes had suffered water damage, he and his wife, Carol, turned to CNEWA for help in restoring the church, which Dr. Zeiter called the pride and joy of the village.
Check Out Our Web Sites
In the past few months, CNEWA has upgraded our family of web sites. You can learn more about the history of the organization and its operating agency in the Middle East, the Pontifical Mission, learn about all the Eastern churches and meet its leaders as well as read back issues of ONE magazine. Our electronic archive includes all published material dating to the magazines first edition in 1974.
Through our sites, you can help support your favorite program priestly formation, needy child care and many others by making secure online donations. Visit www.cnewa.org, www.cnewacanada.ca and www.pontificalmission.org.