The semiannual meeting of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs and the National Council of Synagogues took place at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore on 13 March.
At the meeting, chaired by William Cardinal Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore and Vice President of CNEWA, and Rabbi Joel Zaiman of the Chezuk Amuno Congregation in Baltimore, Msgr. Robert L. Stern, Secretary General, gave a presentation, “The Catholic Understanding of Pilgrimage.“ Participants also discussed capital punishment, environmental issues, violence against children and the Pope’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
Jubilee 2000 Celebration
Knights and Ladies of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem traveled from 39 countries to Rome and Vatican City from 1 to 5 March to celebrate the great jubilee. Highlights of their pilgrimage included an audience with Pope John Paul II and a procession to the Basilica of St. Peter where Carlo Cardinal Furno, Grand Master of the Order, celebrated Mass. The Knights and Ladies – 3,000 in all – also visited the Basilicas of St. Mary Major, St. John Lateran and St. Paul Outside the Walls.
Led by Father Charles H. Miller, S.M., CNEWA’s Director of Pilgrimages, members of the Northeast Lieutenancy went on to the Holy Land where they participated in an Ash Wednesday Mass celebrated by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah. The pilgrims also visited projects supported by the order and CNEWA in Israel and Jordan.
In the past few months, two devoted servants of the church– intimately linked to CNEWA – entered eternal life.
R.I.P. Antony Cardinal Padiyara
The retired Major Archbishop of Ernakulam- Angamaly, Antony Cardinal Padiyara, 79, died in Cochin, India, on 23 March.
Renowned for his committed service to the church, Cardinal Padiyara was a long-time friend of CNEWA, held in great esteem and warm personal regard by Msgr. Stern and, indeed, by all who knew him.
Cardinal Padiyara was ordained a priest in 1945. He served in several parishes, was rector of the Coimbatore diocesan minor seminary and later taught at St. Peter’s Regional Seminary in Bangalore. In 1955, at the age of 34, he was consecrated bishop of the Diocese of Ootacamund.
Cardinal Padiyara was made Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Archdiocese of Changanacherry in 1970. He was transferred to the Archdiocese of Ernakulam in 1985; three years later Pope John Paul II appointed him to the College of Cardinals.
In 1992 Cardinal Padiyara became the first Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly, when the Holy See elevated the archdiocese to the major archiepiscopal see of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church.
Msgr. Edward C. Foster
Msgr. Edward C. Foster, who served CNEWA and the Pontifical Mission with distinction for 19 years, died on 14 April.
Msgr. Foster joined CNEWA as Assistant National Secretary on 1 March 1967. Soon thereafter he was appointed Special Assistant to the President of the Pontifical Mission for Palestine.
His first assignment was in the Middle East as Director of the Beirut office of the Pontifical Mission. From Beirut he directed the Jerusalem office, visiting there monthly.
Msgr. Foster remained in Lebanon from late November 1967 to 1971. He assisted Palestinian refugees displaced by the June 1967 war; helped émigrés from the Middle East and behind the Iron Curtain make a new start in the West; directed funding of the Pontifical Mission schools in Lebanon’s Dbayeh and Jisr el Basha refugee camps; and built schools for refugees in camps in Egypt and Jordan.
After his return to New York, Msgr. Foster was named Associate National Secretary of CNEWA in 1972; in 1973 he was named Executive Vice President of the Pontifical Mission for Palestine. In this dual role he supervised the day-to-day operations of the New York City headquarters of CNEWA and the Pontifical Mission as well as the offices in Amman, Beirut, Jerusalem and Rome. Offices in Amman and Rome were opened during his tenure.
Msgr. Foster helped Msgr. John G. Nolan carry on a successful advertising campaign in the Catholic press. He also put into operation Msgr. Nolan’s Needy Child Sponsorship Program.
Msgr. Foster was intimately involved with Catholic Near East magazine, which was established in 1974. He was also instrumental in publishing Meditations on the Way of the Cross by Pope John Paul II. He resigned from CNEWA in early 1986.
Admired, respected and loved by the people with whom he worked, Msgr. Foster gave a notable portion of his distinguished priestly ministry to CNEWA and the Pontifical Mission.