Ephpheta Celebrates 25 Years
The Paul VI Ephpheta Institute for the Hearing Impaired marked its 25th anniversary with a major celebration in Bethlehem on 2 June. A host of church and secular dignitaries attended the affair, which recognized a quarter-century of outstanding service to hearing-impaired children in the Holy Land by the Sisters of St. Dorothy.
Founded at the request of Pope Paul VI, Ephpheta Institute is a joint enterprise of the Sisters of St. Dorothy and CNEWA.
Ukrainian Catholic Jubilee
In a celebration marking the 400th anniversary of the Union of Brest, which united with the Holy See several Orthodox communities in what is now Belarus and Ukraine, Pope John Paul II called on the Ukrainian Catholic faithful to help improve relations with Orthodox Christians.
The Pope urged the Ukrainian Catholic faithful “not to abandon hope that the last years of the second millennium may bring new closeness.”
New Nuncio in Addis Ababa
The Holy See announced the appointment of Father Silvano M. Tomasi, C.S., as Apostolic Nuncio to Ethiopia and Eritrea on 27 June. A naturalized U.S. citizen who worked on migration issues in New York City, the Scalabrini priest had most recently served as Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.
New Leadership Appointed
Father Denis J. Madden, Ph.D., Associate Secretary General of CNEWA, was appointed Vice President of the Pontifical Mission for Palestine, effective 17 July.
A priest of the Diocese of Youngstown, Father Robert P. Reidy, was appointed Director of our Jerusalem office, effective 28 August. Father Reidy comes to our agency after a distinguished career of 26 years as a U.S. Navy chaplain. He brings a wealth of pastoral and administrative experience from his various global posts.
Brother Donald Mansir, F.S.C., concluded his three-year term of service as Vice President of the Pontifical Mission on 17 July and is now pursuing doctoral studies.
B.U.s Class of 96
This year Bethlehem University graduated more students than any other Arab University in Jerusalem, the West Bank or Gaza.
Bethlehem University’s Msgr. Raouf Najjar, President of the university, conferred degrees on 621 students at its 20th commencement exercises on 13 July.
The graduates were addressed by the Vice Chancellor, Brother Ronald Gallagher, F.S.C. and Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and the Minister for Higher Education. Mayor Elias Freij of Bethlehem, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and other dignitaries also spoke.
Religious Pluralism in Russia
An open discussion of Religious Pluralism in the Russian Federation was held on 1 July at the Church Center for the United Nations in New York City.
The participants included Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, Apostolic Administrator for Latin Catholics in European Russia, Archpriest Victor Petliuchenko of the Moscow Patriarchate, Pastor Peter B. Konovalchik, President of the Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists in the Russian Federation, and Rabbi Adolf Shaevich, Chief Rabbi of Russia.
Arming Knights for the Year 2000
At a symposium held on 15 June at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, N.Y., John Cardinal O’Connor advised members of the Eastern Lieutenancy that a spiritual preparation based on the Pope’s apostolic letter concerning the year 2000, together with a major pilgrimage to the Holy Land, would make a “tremendous contribution” to peace in the Middle East.
At the same meeting, Brother David Carroll, F.S.C., Assistant to the Secretary General, briefed the Eastern Lieutenancy, focusing on the quality of life for Arab Christians in the Holy Land today.
Syro-Malankara Events in the U.S.
Syro-Malankara Catholics in the United States held their third annual convention from 28 to 30 June in Chicago. Two of the church’s three ordinaries traveled to the U.S. for the festivities that also included the dedication of a church near Dallas.
In early July, Cyril Mar Baselios, O.I.C., Metropolitan Archbishop of Trivandrum, and Geevarghese Mar Timotheos, Bishop of Tiruvalla, visited our New York office to discuss the dynamic life of the Syro-Malankara Church, an apostolic community numbering more than 310,000 believers.