An Ethiopian School Expands
When classes at Kidane Mehret School in Dessie, Ethiopia, begin in September, more than 1,600 Christian and Muslim students will find a different school.
The Capuchin-administered institution provides elementary and secondary education for children living in and around the northern Ethiopian town of 170,000.
Kidane Mehret has expanded its program to include the 11th and 12th grades. Recently, construction began on three new buildings to accommodate the anticipated increase in student enrollment.
Sponsored by CNEWA, the project provides four new classrooms, four administrative rooms for college prep courses and computer and technical drawing laboratories. As part of the expansion, a goal has been set to increase the number of female graduates who qualify for university admission.
“We are fortunate God has blessed us with the power to change people’s lives for the better,” said William Doty, a longtime friend who generously financed most of the work.
ONE Wins Again!
In May, the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada presented ONE magazine with eight awards at its annual convention, which was held this year in Anaheim, California. Judges were selected by the American Press Institute.
ONE received three first-place prizes: Individual Excellence for Photography or Art, Best Multiple Picture Feature Story and Best Photo Story. ONE also received one second-place award for Best Feature Story and four third-place awards, including Best Web Site, Best Investigative Writing-Analysis, Best Feature Article and Best Photo Story.
Leadership Council Meets in Rome
From 23 to 25 June, CNEWA’s secretary general, Msgr. Robert L. Stern, and U.S. national secretary, Gabriel Delmonaco, accompanied members of the agency’s newly established Development Leadership Council to Rome, Italy, to inaugurate its annual meeting.
An initiative of CNEWA United States, the council brings together individuals who commit an exceptional level of financial, personal and professional resources to support the agency’s work.
During the three-day visit, council members met with Vatican officials and attended an audience with the pope.
“Whether you are a man or woman of the cloth or a business leader, we’re all called to live out the Gospel at whatever level we can,” said Stephen Marcus, chair of the council.
“CNEWA gives men and women the ability to witness the Gospel played out in the world and to help spread Jesus’ message of love and charity.”
A Maronite deacon, Mr. Marcus is also president and chief executive officer of New England Geriatrics, a leading health care provider based in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Theater for the Deaf
On 19 May, Father Robert’s Institute for the Young Deaf in Sehaile, Lebanon, put on a musical play at the Casino du Liban. Some 40 current or former students from the institute — all of whom are deaf — performed “The Birds of Peace.”
The youth, ages 12 to 27, danced and acted their roles with precise timing and coordination, having been trained to feel and follow the music’s rhythm and count their steps and movements. The performance attracted a large audience and considerable local media attention.
Proceeds from tickets sales benefited the institute, which thanks to our benefactors CNEWA has supported for decades.
New Leadership in Jerusalem
Beginning 1 September, Sami El-Yousef, Vice President for Finance and Planning at Bethlehem University, will join CNEWA and the Pontifical Mission as regional director for Palestine and Israel. He replaces Maher Turjman, who first joined the office’s projects department in 1993, becoming its manager two years later. After serving as regional director for five years, Mr. Turjman has accepted a new position as chief executive officer of Caritas Baby Hospital in Bethlehem.
As regional director, Mr. Turjman expanded CNEWA’s efforts throughout Palestine and Israel, focusing its work on the welfare of children. We wish him great success.
Help for Iraqi Refugees
CNEWA Canada has disbursed $115,000 to groups working with displaced Iraqi Christian families in Jordan and Syria and in villages in northern Iraq. The Franciscan Sisters of Mary, the Good Shepherd Sisters and the Chaldean Refugee Committee will use the funds to provide refugees with food, housing assistance, medicines, legal aid and school fees for children.
Our Ottawa office raised the funds after it launched an emergency relief campaign last autumn. Religious communities, dioceses and individuals from across Canada have supported the effort, including a $40,000 gift from the Good Samaritan Relief Fund.
“There are more than 230,000 Iraqi Christian refugees living in limbo in Syria and Jordan,” said Carl Hétu, Canada national secretary.
“And there are thousands more displaced within their country. Our campaign isn’t over — the needs of these families are too great.”
Go to www.helpiraqichristians.ca, a special web site created by CNEWA Canada, to learn how to help.