Report from Iraq
In early May Msgr. Robert L. Stern traveled to Iraq as part of a five-member Vatican delegation headed by Achille Cardinal Silvestrini, prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches. The purpose of the visit was pastoral; the delegation met with various hierarchs, Catholic and non-Catholic, and assured them of the Holy See’s support.
The most serious threat to the people of Iraq, the delegation concluded, is the United Nations’ embargo. There is very little food, practically no medicine and inflation has skyrocketed.
The delegation visited Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul. Msgr. Stern said that there were few signs of the damage caused by the Allied bombing.
Seeing Is Believing
During a recent tour of Egypt and the Holy Land, John and Mary Corigliano ofShort Hills, N.J., made a trip to Bethlehem. Walking to the Church of the Nativity they stopped and asked a nun for directions.
It happened that she was from Italy and taught at the Ephpheta Institute, a school for the deaf sponsored by Catholic Near East Welfare Association. Several years ago Mary sponsored a girl enrolled at the school; her husband doubted, however, that her gifts were used to help their child.
The nun, a member of the Congregation of St. Dorothy, invited the couple to visit both the school and their child. Today John is no longer a skeptic and Mary is convinced “the Holy Spirit touched us.”
On 25 April Pope John Paul II ordained four Albanian bishops in the northern city of Shköder. Among those ordained was the Rev. Rrok Mirdita who, prior to his ordination, served the Albanian Catholic community in New York for more than 20 years.
“Welcome to the land of the eagle,” the archbishop said in his address to the pope.
“Here, we will endeavor to preserve the brotherly harmony among the people and rebuild an Albania with traditional values.”
School for the Blind in Ethiopia
“The Shashemene School for the Blind is surprisingly well organized,” said Mr. Domingo Sotero, our program administrator for Ethiopia.
The congregation that runs the school, which is located 120 miles south of Addis Ababa, has adapted the yard for the visually impaired students – ropes are tied to stakes to act as guides.
“A greater problem than maintenance is the gangs that kidnap handicapped children and force them to beg. The money collected is then given to the gang leader. If they refuse to beg, or if they fail to solicit enough, they are abused.”
Ten children from the Shashemene School for the Blind are currently sponsored through our Child in Need program.
Pontifical Mission Serves Iraq
Our Pontifical Mission’s Amman office has expanded its responsibilities into Iraq.
The Rev. William Corcoran, the director of the Amman office, traveled to Iraq in June to conduct a preliminary pastoral and humanitarian needs assessment.
The Pontifical Mission’s Amman office will work with the local bishops to help alleviate the suffering of the Iraqi people.
Father Moynihan Promoted
Pope John Paul II has named the Rev. James M. Moynihan, associate secretary general of Catholic Near East Welfare Association, a chaplain of honor.
A priest of the diocese of Rochester, N.Y., he earned a doctorate in canon law from the Gregorian University in 1961. Most recently, he served as pastor of St. Joseph parish in Penfield, N.Y.
Msgr. Moynihan joined the Association in March 1991 as its chief operating officer, responsible for the day-to-day administration of its four New York-based divisions as well as its overseas operations.