ONE Magazine

The official publication of
Catholic Near East Welfare Association

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


from the world of CNEWA

Bzommar Renewed

Armenian Catholic Patriarch Nerses Bedros XIX led celebrations marking the renovation of the Patriarchal Seminary in Bzommar, northeast of Beirut, on 20 October.

Funded in part by CNEWA, the renovations were necessary to update the facility, which has housed Armenian Catholic seminarians, monks and priests of the patriarchal congregation of Bzommar since its establishment in the 18th century.

The seminary also houses an extensive collection of lavishly illustrated manuscripts, many of which were created in the Armenian states of Asia Minor during the Middle Ages.

The patriarchs of the Maronite, Melkite Greek and Syriac Catholic churches participated in the inaugural festivities.

Québec Catholics Help Lebanon

The Diocese of Gatineau in Québec organized a benefit dinner to help Christians from the south of Lebanon displaced by war between Israel and Hezbollah last summer. At the 20 October benefit, Archbishop Roger ébacher praised CNEWA’s efforts in helping Lebanese Christians and urged Catholics to show their solidarity.

Carl Hétu, CNEWA Canada’s National Secretary, detailed the difficulties facing displaced Christians as they return to their damaged homes, villages and farms.

While Muslim charities, with substantial financial support of regional governments, are helping displaced Muslims, who bore the brunt of the war, affected Christians have received less help thus far, Mr. Hétu said.

During the war, CNEWA’s Pontifical Mission staff in Beirut distributed emergency supplies to displaced families of all creeds. Long-term plans will focus on assisting southern Lebanese families, many of whom are Christian, whose fields have been spoiled and homes rendered uninhabitable.

Advancing Ecumenical Dialogue

The intertwining roles of the patriarchs and synods in governing the patriarchal churches of the East in communion with the Church of Rome was the subject of a presentation by Chorbishop John Faris, Associate Secretary General, at the 71st meeting of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation on 26-28 October at St. Paul’s College in Washington, D.C.

Chorbishop Faris’s paper was one of many at the semiannual meeting of Orthodox and Catholic scholars, which advances theological dialogue between the sister churches.

Forming Knights and Ladies

CNEWA continues its ongoing program to assist in the formation and education of members of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

In the past few months, CNEWA’s senior staff, Msgr. Robert Stern, Chorbishop Faris, Father Guido Gockel and Brother David Carroll, F.S.C., addressed the members of the U.S.A. Northwestern, Southeastern, Southwestern, Eastern, Northeastern and Middle Atlantic lieutenancies as well as the Canada-Vancouver Lieutenancy.

Boarding School Expanded

CNEWA is helping the Syro-Malabar Catholic Eparchy of Ujjain in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh to expand a boarding school for boys.

Founded in 1988, Santhosh Bhavan serves 48 students but lacks the necessary space – classrooms, dining facilities and toilets – to accommodate them, let alone the many applicants it is forced to turn away.

The need for a dining hall is most dire. Currently, students eat in the courtyard or, during the rainy season, in the study hall. CNEWA is helping the school to construct a new dining hall and storeroom that will go a long way in meeting the school’s needs and allow it to accept additional students.

The school serves both Christian and non-Christian students, who otherwise would not have access to formal education in the remote region.

A Life of Service

Mary Wainwright, 84, attends daily Mass at Sacred Heart Church near her home in Coronado, California. Frequent contact with priests and religious has prompted her to support those aspiring to a life of service in the church. “In poorer countries, especially, I think it’s important that people have the means to join the church,” Mrs. Wainwright said of her support of seminarians and novices through CNEWA.

For years, Mrs. Wainwright worked at the nearby naval air station on North Island. Her daughter, Maria Christina, works there now and also contributes to CNEWA.

“We’ve always believed in paying our tithe, in helping those in need,” Mrs. Wainwright said. “It’s especially gratifying, because the seminarians and nuns who we help support are wonderful about writing, sending pictures and telling us about their lives.”

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