Cardinal Silvestrini in New York
It would be impossible for the Congregation for the Eastern Churches to exist without Catholic Near East Welfare Association, said Achille Cardinal Silvestrini, the congregation’s prefect. The cardinal visited our New York office in late October.
Cardinal Silvestrini discussed his recent visits to Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, Turkey, Lebanon and Ukraine and the vitality of the churches there.
The cardinal noted that Romania’s Byzantine Catholic Church has been weakened. In January that nation’s bishops are scheduled to visit Rome to discuss how the congregation could better assist this struggling community.
Catholic Near East Welfare Association has served the people of the Near East for almost 70 years. Lest this history be lost, we have launched an oral history project. To date we have interviewed three persons: Miss Carol Hunnybun, an administrator for the Pontifical Mission in the Holy Land from 1963 to 1982 (see page 24); Msgr. Stephen J. Kelleher, field director in Beirut from 1960 to 1962, and Msgr. Andrew P. Landi of Catholic Relief Services, who worked closely with the Association and the Pontifical Mission after World War II. Other interviews are pending.
Upon completion all interviews will be transcribed and placed in Catholic Near East Welfare Association’s archives at Graymoor. We hope to use the anecdotes and recollections in a published history of the Association in the future.
Catholicos of Cilicia
While visiting the United States last autumn, Karekin II, the Armenian Apostolic Catholicos of Cilicia, invited senior members of our Association’s staff to his prelacy in Manhattan.
The catholicos, whose see is located in Lebanon, expressed his renewed appreciation for the sensitivity, concern and assistance of our Pontifical Mission staff in Beirut.
Ecumenical relations between the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic churches were also discussed.
The Harvard Program
The annual board meeting of the Institute for Social and Economic Policy in the Middle East of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University was held in New York in November.
One of the major activities of the Institute was the formulation of a plan for economic development for Israel, Palestine and Jordan with the participation of leading economists from the Middle East and with the implicit blessings of the authorities of those countries.
Cardinal O’Connor serves as one of the Institute’s vice chairs of the board of directors. Our Association has been a major supporter of the Institute’s Middle East Fellowship Program.
New Jerusalem Director
The Rev. Denis Madden has been appointed director of our Pontifical Mission’s Jerusalem office. He replaces Brother Donald Mansir, F.S.C., who is now vice president of the Pontifical Mission.
A priest of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Father Madden is a licensed clinical psychologist and specializes in understanding and treating violent behavior. Since 1988, he has been teaching at the Ecumenical Institute of Tantur in Jerusalem.
In early December, our advisory committee completed the third meeting of its inaugural year.
The committee is made up of prominent donors and friends of our Association who provide advice, counsel and resources. They have also rallied to help us extend our reach to many prospective donors.
One of our committee members played a key role in obtaining the $1.5 million USAID grant for our Pontifical Mission’s work in Lebanon.
We mourn the death and celebrate the life of Mrs. Mary Agnes Callahan. Aggie was remarkable for her generosity and concern for the needy all over the world, including major support of our Association. Cardinal O’Connor was the principal celebrant of her funeral Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan. May she rest in peace.
Custos of the Holy Land
The Rev. Giuseppe Nazzaro, O.F.M., Custos of the Holy Land, visited our New York office in late October.
Father Nazzaro spoke of the needs of the local Christians, emphasizing the lack of quality housing. Recently the friars have begun construction of 40 housing units for young Palestinians.
The Custody is responsible for 40 shrines, 15 schools, 2 orphanages and a nursing home. These establishments are located in Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine.