Chorbishop Joins CNEWA
On 23 September, a Maronite priest, Chorbishop John D. Faris, joined our staff as Assistant Secretary General. Prior to taking up this post, Msgr. Faris was Vicar General of the Eparchy of St. Maron in Brooklyn.
A prominent scholar, teacher and writer in the field of Eastern canon law, Msgr. Faris will share the leadership of CNEWA with Msgr. Robert L. Stern, Secretary General, and Father Denis J. Madden, Associate Secretary General.
Sweets for the Sweet
Our office in Beirut has purchased equipment to implement the manufacture and packaging of sweets by Palestinians in the Ain El Helweh camp near Sidon. The new apparatus will allow the beneficiary of the project, the Union of the Handicapped Palestinians, to market their products outside the camp.
At present, the project employs 13 people, of whom nine are handicapped. They expect to triple production within the next six months.
Good Friends Drop By
Dr. and Mrs. Wendell E. Rossman visited our New York office on 17 September. Dr. and Mrs. Rossman have been generous friends and supporters for more than 30 years.
In addition to novices and seminarians, the Rossmans currently sponsor children in need in almost every country we serve. They also support a water reclamation project in Nura Era, Ethiopia.
The Greek-Melkite Catholic and Greek Orthodox patriarchates of Antioch are exploring possible ways of reunifying the two churches into one Antiochene Patriarchate.
Greek-Melkite Catholic Patriarch Maximos V Hakim stated that “reunification does not mean the victory of one church over the other, nor the return of one church to the other, but rather a cessation of the split between brothers that took place in 1724.”
An informal dialogue has been initiated to address the issue of sacramental sharing.
Keeping Knights and Ladies Current
In Tampa, on 21 and 22 September, and later in Portland, Ore., on 19 and 20 October, Msgr. Stern assisted in the orientation of new members of the Southeastern and Northwestern lieutenancies of the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre, respectively, and briefed the full membership on recent developments in the lives of the churches and peoples of the Holy Land.
Meanwhile, Brother David Carroll, F.S.C., Assistant to the Secretary General, spoke to the Southwestern Lieutenancy at its annual meeting in Dallas, also on 19 and 20 October. On 2 and 3 November he addressed the new investees of the Middle Atlantic Lieutenancy at its meeting in Washington, D.C. His topic for both gatherings was “Jerusalem, Our Hometown.”
A Diamond Jubilee
Parishioners of St. Michael’s Russian Catholic Church in New York City celebrated the 60th anniversary of their parish on 8 November, the Byzantine Feast of St. Michael.
One of only four Russian Catholic churches in North America, St. Michael’s serves 80 people, reports Deacon Christopher Li Greci. And the number is growing.
Pontiff Extols Eastern Christianity
In his Angelus address at Castel Gandolfo on 8 September, Pope John Paul II praised the contributions of Eastern Christianity to the interior life.
Stressing the Eastern tradition of openness to the Holy Spirit, the Pope declared, “The Fathers of the East start with the awareness that authentic spiritual commitment can not be reduced to encounter with oneself, to an even necessary recovery of interiority, but must be a journey of docile listening to the Spirit of God.”
On 4 September, Stephanos II Ghattas, C.M., Coptic Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria, visited our New York office. The Patriarch met with our senior staff to examine the needs of Coptic Catholics in Egypt.
The newly appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Ethiopia and Eritrea, Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, C.S., met with Msgr. Stern in our New York office on 9 September. Long-time friends and colleagues, they discussed the religious situation in the two countries.
On 5 October, the Auxiliary Bishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly, Mar Jacob Manathodath, met with CNEWA’s senior staff to review the work of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church.
They Dared to Dream
In the village of Vayalada, in India’s southwestern state of Kerala, devout Syro-Malabar Catholics had a dream. They longed to build a church to replace the modest prayer hut they now use. The church of their dreams would be large enough and grand enough for worship. It would also include space for classes and meetings.
A few years ago, two good friends of CNEWA, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Pandolfo, offered to finance the construction of the church. The villagers were delighted – until they realized that in order to build their church, they would have to build a road! So the project was shelved until a road could be completed.
The road is now ready and next year construction of St. George Church will begin in Vayalada.