Online in Africa
The teaching and learning process at Holy Savior Inter-Eparchial Seminary in Asmara, Eritrea, has suddenly become more efficient: a brand-new computer lab is up and running. Brother Vincent Pelletier, F.S.C., CNEWA’s Regional Director for Ethiopia and Eritrea, also reported good news about the major seminary in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. There, the students and teachers are sharing computers in a special classroom. Only a few years ago both seminaries were running computers on car batteries and solar panels.
Bethlehem Under Attack
Mill Hill Father Guido Gockel, CNEWA’s Regional Director for Palestine, Israel and Cyprus, recently reported that church facilities in Bethlehem had been damaged during Israel’s March offensive.
The Créche, an orphanage and day care center supported in part by CNEWA, as well as CNEWA’s institute for the deaf, Ephpheta, and Holy Family Maternity Hospital were hit. The CNEWA-founded School for the Blind in Gaza, now under the auspices of the United Nations, was also struck.
Millennium Hall, the new facility at Bethlehem University that had been in use for exactly one month, was hit by antitank missiles. The library received a direct hit as well. The force of the explosion blew out windows and steel exterior doors. No one was injured.
Bethlehem was like a “ghost town,” Father Gockel said. A curfew was in place for several days. It was lifted for a couple of hours to allow residents to shop. “There was food in the markets,” he said, “but the people were afraid to go out.”
The people feel a sense of frustration with the peace talks. “They get their hopes up high, then they fall.…”
Soon residents in the village of Chbanieh, Mount Lebanon, will be able to turn on the tap and draw drinkable water year round with the addition of an artesian well.
The project is sponsored by CNEWA’s Beirut office; drilling was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). An increase in the population had left many villagers high and dry. Now some 1,500 residents will benefit from the new well.
Stamps of Approval
Most people complain about having to work overtime. But not Dennis Manders of Milwaukee. For the past 30 years, the postal worker has been donating his extra pay to CNEWA. Through CNEWA’s sponsorship programs, Mr. Manders has enabled some 40 men and women to become priests and religious in India and Ethiopia.
Dennis Manders has not forgotten the children either. Some 1,000 needy children in India have attended school through his support. Another beneficiary of his generosity is the chapel at St. Mary’s Syro-Malankara Catholic Seminary in Trivandrum.
For Mr. Manders–and the people we serve–long lines at the post office are a welcome sight.
Daytop Village, India
A rehabilitation village for substance abusers has opened in Kerala, India. Sponsored by the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate and funded by CNEWA, the programs at Navadarsana are based on the therapeutic community model developed by Daytop Village, a drug rehabilitation program founded by Msgr. William B. O’Brien. The programs are adapted to the individual countries and focus on building a structured family environment. In addition to alcoholism and drug addiction, Navadarsana also treats persons with AIDS as well as those with mental disorders.
When Coptic Orthodox Sister Lois needed financial aid to pursue a doctorate in Early Christian Studies, she turned to CNEWA.
After receiving her master’s of divinity from Harvard University in June 1997, she was accepted on full scholarship at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. But she needed money for living expenses. Bishop Pierre Duprey of the Catholic Committee for Cultural Collaboration in Rome put her in touch with CNEWA.
Sister Lois has finished her course work and has passed her comprehensives. She is now working on her dissertation, which will analyze St. Cyril of Alexandria’s commentary on the Gospel of St. John.
Once she receives her doctorate in June 2003, Sister Lois will return to Cairo to give lectures and workshops.