Indoor and Outdoor Offerings
The Greek Orthodox parish of St. George in Bourj el Moulouk, southern Lebanon, hosted a festive inauguration of its newly completed multipurpose hall on 1 June. Issam Bishara, CNEWAs regional director for Lebanon, Syria and Egypt, participated in the event; CNEWA helped complete and furnish the hall, the villages primary community center.
Later that day, Mr. Bishara and staff inaugurated a newly completed artesian well in the nearby village of Kawkaba. Officials of the United Nations joined local church and community leaders at the ceremony.
In cooperation with the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon, CNEWAs engineers coordinated the digging of a quarter-mile-deep well, constructed a 300-cubic-foot water tank and laid over a half-mile network of pipes for the 2,500-strong village. The system also includes water treatment equipment that filters the well water, making it drinkable.
On 22 June at Jerusalems Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, Archbishop Fouad Twal was installed as Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, succeeding the retiring patriarch, Archbishop Michel Sabbah.
Born in 1940 in the predominantly Christian town of Madaba, Jordan, Patriarch Twal was ordained to the priesthood in 1966. From 1977 to 1992, he served the Holy See as a member of its diplomatic corps, working in Honduras, Germany and Peru.
In 1992, Pope John Paul II appointed him bishop of Tunis. He served there until 2005, when Pope Benedict XVI named him coadjutor archbishop of Jerusalem.
The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem includes some 77,000 Latin Catholics in Palestine, Israel, Jordan and Cyprus.
Germanys Catholic Days
Germanys 97th annual Catholic Days took place from 21 to 25 May in Osnabrück, in the northwestern state of Lower Saxony. Some 60,000 people participated in the four-day event. Staff members from Catholica Unio Deutschland, CNEWAs sister agency, held numerous meetings and provided information about the agencys mission, activities and publications, including the German-language edition of ONE magazine.
Many young Catholics showed interest in the wide range of Catholic groups exhibiting at the event, said Catholica Unios Father Gregor Hohmann, O.S.A.
Representatives from a number of Eastern churches were pleased with the participants interest in the Eastern churches.
Were not refugees. Were here for a while and were going back to build our country, said Sister Diana, an Iraqi Dominican Sister of St. Catherine of Siena now living in Michigan. Our country is suffering our main concern is how to help [it] come to a new birth.
A native of a small town in northern Iraq, Sister Diana shared her experiences with CNEWA staff and members of the press in New York on 19 May. As an eyewitness to tremendous violence, destruction and suffering, she expressed her deep concern not only for the future of Iraqs Christians, but all Iraqis.
The future of our children is in danger, she said. Its a tragedy when kids grow up seeing car bombs and bodies in the street. This is not normal. Its like a fiction movie.
The Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena are drawn from Iraqs Catholic and Orthodox churches. The sisters administer parish catechetical programs, staff an orphanage and kindergarten in Mosul, direct Al Hayat Maternity Hospital in Baghdad and, in partnership with CNEWA, run a pre- and neonatal clinic for refugees in Zerqa, Jordan.
Ad Multos Annos!
Family members, friends, former parishioners and colleagues joined Msgr. Archimandrite Robert L. Stern on 1 June in celebrating the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood at a Mass at St. John the Evangelist Church in Manhattan.
Ordained a priest in 1958 by Cardinal Francis Spellman of New York, he served at a number of parishes, studied canon law in Rome, assisted the second and third sessions of Vatican II and worked in Colombia, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Msgr. Stern also served New York Citys Hispanic community for over 20 years, playing a pivotal role in strengthening its voice in the Archdiocese of New York.
In 1985, Msgr. Stern was assigned to CNEWA. Two years later, he assumed leadership of CNEWA and its operating agency in the Middle East, the Pontifical Mission for Palestine. During his tenure, Msgr. Stern has revived CNEWAs original purposes and charism; initiated its aggiornamento; supervised significant programmatic growth, particularly in India and Northeast Africa; improved the agencys delivery of services; created sophisticated administrative systems and heightened CNEWAs role in the day-to-day lives of the Eastern churches.
Number One, Again!
The Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada presented ONE magazine with eight awards at its annual convention in May held this year in Toronto, Canada.
ONE received four first-place prizes, including General Excellence, Best Cover, Best Feature Story and Best Photograph.
The magazine also received three second-place awards, including Best Investigative Writing and Analysis, Best Essay and Best Photo Essay, and a third place for another Best Photo Essay.
The judges, drawn from the secular press throughout North America, cited the magazine for its well-written articles, fantastic photographs and great layouts.