After more than 12 years of dedicated service to CNEWA, Deputy Secretary General Chorbishop John D. Faris will return to the service of the Maronite Eparchy of St. Maron of Brooklyn as pastor of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Church in Utica, New York, on 1 June.
A prominent scholar, teacher and writer in the field of Eastern canon law, Chorbishop Faris has played a pivotal role during his tenure at CNEWA, assisting in its leadership; developing further its purposes and charism; supervising significant programmatic growth, particularly in India; fine-tuning sophisticated administrative systems and raising funds and CNEWAs profile within the community of Eastern churches.
The CNEWA family wishes Chorbishop Faris great success.
In April, CNEWA’s Jerusalem-based staff began the work of rebuilding Gaza’s church- sponsored charities, clinics and schools damaged or destroyed during the January 2009 war between Israel and Hamas.
Within days of the cease-fire, CNEWA launched an appeal to help rebuild these important apostolates, which provide essential social services to Gaza’s families regardless of creed. Earlier in April, the first installment of funds raised in North America was transferred to CNEWA’s regional office for Palestine and Israel.
In recent weeks, several major international donors have contributed generously to reconstruction efforts, including Caritas France, Caritas Luxembourg, Caritas Switzerland, the Swiss government and Manos Unidas.
Among the projects receiving support are the establishment of a trauma care center for children under the auspices of the Latin Patriarchate, the reconstruction of the mother and child clinic in Shija’ia and the renovation of three classrooms of the Rosary Sisters School damaged in the crossfire.
Flood Relief for Ukraine
CNEWA Canada concluded its Ukrainian flood relief campaign recently. Launched in August 2008, the appeal raised more than $85,000 to assist victims of last summer’s devastating flood in western Ukraine.
With donations from Canadian Ukrainian Greek Catholic eparchies, community organizations and generous individuals, funds purchased beds and other essential household wares and appliances for 22 families in the western Ukrainian region of Ivano-Frankivsk.
Packages of food and basic hygienic and medical supplies were also provided to another 114 destitute families.
The floods, which resulted from four days of rain in late July 2008, affected more than 100,000 people in western Ukraine, including 18,000 in the Ivano-Frankivsk region alone.
Child Care in Jerusalem
In early March, our Jerusalem office received a grant of $804,014 for its child care projects from the Salam ya Seghar fund. The grant, which will be supplemented by $256,941 from a number of additional benefactors, will develop the infrastructure and improve the services of 36 child care institutions, including schools, kindergartens and facilities for the handicapped in the districts of Bethlehem, Jericho, Jerusalem and Ramallah.
Established by Sheikha Jawher Bent Muhammad Al-Qasimi of Sharjah (one of the emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates), the Salam ya Seghar fund responds to various humanitarian crises throughout Palestine. In particular, the fund focuses on the urgent needs of children.
CNEWA’s U.S. national secretary, Gabriel Delmonaco, accompanied five benefactors to Ethiopia in March. During the week-long trip, the group met with religious leaders and visited CNEWA-supported programs and social service institutions in and around the capital of Addis Ababa, in the northern region of Tigre and in the southern region of Gurage.
The purpose of the trip was to give the donors — all of whom have demonstrated exceptional commitment to CNEWA’s work in Ethiopia — direct experience with the country’s diverse people and rich culture, exposure to its myriad problems and introduce them to Ethiopia’s churches and their wide-ranging social service activities benefiting all Ethiopians.