ONE Magazine

The official publication of
Catholic Near East Welfare Association

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


from the world of CNEWA

Presidential Sendoff

After 26 years of dedicated service to CNEWA, Msgr. Archimandrite Robert L. Stern retired on 15 September.

Msgr. Stern first joined CNEWA in 1985 and two years later assumed leadership of the organization and its operating agency in the Middle East, the Pontifical Mission for Palestine. During his tenure as president — the longest in the agency’s history — Msgr. Stern revived CNEWA’s original purposes and charism; initiated its aggiornamento; supervised significant programmatic growth, opening regional offices in Eritrea, Ethiopia and India; improved the agency’s delivery of services; instituted sophisticated administrative systems to compete in the 21st century; expanded the agency, opening fund-raising offices in Canada, India and Italy; and heightened CNEWA’s role in the day-to-day lives of the Eastern churches.

Ordained a priest in 1958 by Cardinal Francis Spellman of New York, he served at a number of parishes, studied canon law in Rome, served as staff for the second and third sessions of Vatican II and worked in Colombia, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Msgr. Stern also served New York City’s Hispanic community for more than 20 years, helping strengthen its voice in the Archdiocese of New York.

The CNEWA family is grateful for Msgr. Stern’s leadership, energy and vision. Many years!

Report on Gaza

On 19-20 July, CNEWA-Pontifical Mission’s regional director for Palestine and Israel, Sami El-Yousef, traveled to Gaza to check on the progress of the rehabilitation of church-related institutions there.

During his stay, Mr. El-Yousef assessed recovery efforts. “Once in Gaza it was very clear the obvious effects of the war were no longer visible. Buildings shelled in December 2008 that remained in ruins have since been knocked down, and bulldozers were busily clearing in preparation for reconstruction.”

He, however, cautioned against undue enthusiasm. “We were reminded everywhere we went that we should not render judgment without serious evaluation of the situation and without being exposed to the real problems that face many institutions and the Christian community.”

Mr. El-Yousef spent most of his time visiting Gaza’s numerous CNEWA-sponsored projects and social service institutions, including the Near East Council of Churches clinic and vocational training center, the Rosary Sisters’ school and the Greek Orthodox Society of the Myrrh-Bearing Women. Though all institutions are currently operating, many need financial support to sustain or expand their services.

For the full report, including a new United Nations report on Gaza, visit us online at

CNEWA Expands in Italy

CNEWA is now a registered organization under Italian law and is able to raise funds in Italy.

“The establishment of a branch of CNEWA in Italy represents an important milestone in the growth of the agency,” says Gabriel Delmonaco, CNEWA’s vice president for development.

“As an Italian, I’m very proud we are able to give our benefactors in Italy the opportunity to be involved actively in the mission of the agency. Knowing the Italian people’s generosity and devotion to the Holy Father, I’m confident our national office in Italy will help advance our work on behalf of the churches of the East and the people in the countries we serve.”

CNEWA’s New Blog

In August, CNEWA expanded its presence on the web by launching a new blog, ONE-TO-ONE. An outgrowth of the agency’s award-winning magazine, ONE-TO-ONE offers more stories from our world — daily. The blog features news, analysis, photographs and multimedia, with the latest on CNEWA’s work in the field and reports from the men and women involved in the church’s outreach there.

Also in August, CNEWA began publishing online an account of the agency’s early years. The book, “Catholic Near East Welfare Association: The Foundational Years,” describes the events leading to the agency’s creation and early growth. It was written by Bishop John Gavin Nolan, who led the agency from 1966 to 1987.

“It is an eminently readable and informative narrative,” notes Msgr. Robert L. Stern in his introduction.

To view the book and our new blog, visit us online at


After more than 26 years associated with CNEWA, Sister Christian Molidor, R.S.M., retired on 15 September.

A social worker by training and a gifted photographer, Sister Christian has played many roles at the agency, most recently as special assistant to the president. Whether as a full time staff member or as a consultant, she has assisted in its leadership, communicated with benefactors and friends and functioned as an ambassador to the communities CNEWA serves. Her photographs and essays have filled the agency’s publications for years, but most recently, her biweekly emails have inspired readers with colorful, candid anecdotes from her travels.

May the Lord continue to bless you, Sister Christian!

Get to know us and stay informed about the impact your support makes.

Nous constatons que votre préférence linguistique est le français.
Voudriez-vous être redirigé sur notre site de langue française?

Oui! Je veux y accéder.

Hemos notado que su idioma preferido es español. ¿Le gustaría ver la página de Asociación Católica para el Bienestar del Cercano Oriente en español?

Vee página en español