Getting to Know One Another
Seven Ukrainians – five of whom were professors at the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church’s newly revived Lviv Theological Academy – were among 15 students enrolled last summer in an immersion program in Eastern Christian theology and spirituality offered by the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies in Ottawa, Canada.
Students learned about the theology and practice of prayer in the Eastern churches and the theology and spirituality of icons. In a field trip to the San Francisco Bay area, they gained firsthand knowledge of the Antiochene, Armenian, Assyrian, Coptic, Ethiopian, Greek and Russian traditions.
“It is not only Western Catholics that need to get to know the Eastern churches,” an Institute spokesman pointed out. “Eastern Christians need to meet as well.”
Bonds of Seminarian Sponsorship
Recently, Ms. Josephine McCaffery of East Meadow, N.Y., called to share good news about the seminarian she sponsored through CNEWA some 20 years ago.
The priest, the Rev. Hanna Zaya Markho, was elected Archbishop of Erbil, Iraq, by the Holy Synod of the Chaldean Catholic Church.
Ms. McCaffery told us she was a woman not too many years out of college when she sponsored the seminarian. After his ordination, the two kept in touch, and the young priest would write to tell her of his life in rural Iraq. Then came a long period of silence.
“I was afraid he was dead,” Ms. McCaffery confided, until a letter came telling her he had been ordained archbishop. Of course she was delighted.
Ad multos annos, Archbishop Markho.
Cardinal O’Connor Honored
John Cardinal O’Connor, President of CNEWA, was honored for his work in Christian Jewish relations with the presentation of a collection of essays published by Sacred Heart University of Fairfield, Conn.
Toward Greater Understanding features essays from four Catholics, including William Cardinal Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore and Vice President of CNEWA, and six members of the Jewish community.
The book notes Cardinal O’Connor’s support for the university’s Center for Christian Jewish Understanding, established in 1992, which is devoted to developing understanding in the theological area.
CNEWA Directors Meet in New York
The annual planning meeting of directors from our New York and overseas offices was held in New York in September.
Directors from Addis Ababa, Amman, Beirut, Jerusalem, New York and Vatican City met in plenary sessions and small groups to plan and discuss the agency’s country strategies and development activities.
Cardinal O’Connor, President of CNEWA, received the directors at a gathering at his residence during the meetings.
Library Satellite Opens in Jordan
As a means of serving those small villages located far from the Pontifical Mission Library in Amman, Jordan, a regional religious education center has been opened in the Kerak area, about two hours by car south of the Jordanian capital.
The satellite facility has a slide projector, a VCR, a television for previewing films, an overhead projector, classroom literature and educational games. The Amman library donated 53 video tapes of religious topics translated into Arabic.
The center will be operated by a team of Latin, Melkite and Orthodox priests and a librarian from a nearby school.
Order of the Holy Sepulchre
CNEWA staff members continue to assist the formation of Knights and Ladies of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre.
In September, Msgr. Robert L. Stern addressed members of the Southeastern Lieutenancy in Bal Harbour, Fla., about the status of the holy city of Jerusalem. Later that month, Msgr. Stern was promoted to the rank of Knight Commander with Star at the investiture Mass of the Eastern Lieutenancy celebrated by Cardinal O’Connor.
The church in the Holy Land and the responsibilities of membership in the order were discussed by Brother David Carroll, F.S.C., with the Northern Lieutenancy in Omaha, Neb., in September. In October, he briefed the Middle Atlantic Lieutenancy in Washington, D.C., on current issues affecting life in the Holy Land.
Later in October, Msgr. Stern addressed members of the Southwestern Lieutenancy in Houston, Texas.
Meanwhile, Brother Donald Mansir, F.S.C., led members of the Eastern Lieutenancy on a pilgrimage through the Holy Land.