Our Friend from Switzerland
In late July, Msgr. Robert Fuglister of Basel, Switzerland, visited our New York offices while on holiday in the United States.
As president of Kinderhilfe Bethlehem, a Swiss Catholic agency that supports mother and child programs in the Middle East, he works in partnership with our Pontifical Mission offices in Amman, Beirut and Jerusalem and generously supports their work.
“I am very happy with this collaboration,” he said tenderly. “It is very near to my heart to come here and say, ‘thank you.”’
A Joyful Day at Graymoor
Happy endings are rare; however, a Lebanese family recently had great cause for joy.
For a variety of reasons, the Helou family has been scattered about Lebanon, Canada and the United States. One son, George, left Lebanon to assist his sister, who had been injured in a car bomb in Beirut and was seeking treatment in Canada. After her recovery, George entered the Friars of the Atonement in Graymoor, N.Y.
In late summer, Brother George was to profess his vows at Graymoor. The community extended an invitation to his family in Lebanon; it had been years since Brother George had seen them. U.S. visas for Lebanese nationals are extremely hard to come by, but our Pontifical Mission’s Beirut office was able to secure visas for George’s parents.
“…this was really an eleventh hour answered prayer,” wrote Father John F. Kiesling, S.A. “…it is just so exciting to see the joy and happiness in George…thank you.”
From the Heart of America
More than 600 delegates from the Catholic Daughters of the Americas gathered in Des Moines, Iowa, for their 45th biennial convention in July.
Msgr. James M. Moynihan addressed the delegates, thanking them for their exceptional support of the Association’s work, particularly our Needy Child Sponsorship Program.
While in Des Moines, the Monsignor hosted a luncheon for our benefactors who live in the area.
“It was a great opportunity to meet our friends,” he said later, “to thank them for their support and to give them a glimpse of our plans for the future.”
Finding a Place for the Church
“The church in Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Moldova and Romania is struggling to find its place in post-Communist Europe,” said Mr. Sarkis Boghjalian, our Program Administrator for Eastern Europe, after a recent needs assessment visit.
“During the cold war, the church in these lands became a symbol of heroic suffering and resistance. This resistance defined their reason for being,” he continued.
“Today the church enjoys freedom, but the church must now compete with forces that are not as clearly described as a persecutor.”
Acute inflation and market prices are also hampering the bishops’ efforts to build adequate programs and projects.
Vatican Office Relocated
Our Association’s Vatican office, for years located within the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, has relocated and joined our Pontifical Mission’s Vatican office.
Msgr. John F. McCarthy, who for the past three decades has served as Director of our Association’s Vatican office, is now Director of Our Pontifical Mission office as well.
A priest of the Diocese of Helena, Mont., Msgr. McCarthy holds a licentiate in Theology from Gregorian University and doctorates both in Theology and in Canon Law from the Lateran University.
Lending a Hand to Syrian Orthodox
St. Ephrem Syrian Orthodox Church in Amman, Jordan, has a newly furnished catechetical center thanks to the partnership of our Pontifical Mission office in Amman and the Catholic agency of the German bishops, Missio.
“This vibrant parish wanted to strengthen their best resource, their children,” writes Father William Corcoran, Director of our Amman office. “After renovating a small abandoned school themselves, they sought funding for equipment that would enhance the children’s knowledge of the Syriac alphabet and language, traditions and faith.”