Keeping a Memory Alive
Dr. Debra Kalter Chartove was a very special lady. A physician whose specialty was tropical dermatology, she pursued the parasitic causes of skin lesions among the people of Central and South America. A wife and mother, she brightened the lives of her husband and daughter, and indeed of all who knew her. When she died in August 1994 at the age of 38 her family and friends were desolate.
Her brother, Dr. Steven Kalter, and his wife, Karen, thought something should be done to honor the memory of this dedicated healer. They decided to make a gift to CNEWA in Dr. Chartove’s memory. The funds would be used to benefit the people of Bahr Dar, Ethiopia, which lies in a region ravaged by disease. By helping to create a health program there, Dr. and Mrs. Kalter felt Debra Kalter Chartove would be remembered in a way that resonated with her role as a dedicated healer.
Edward Cardinal Egan, 68, Archbishop of New York and President of CNEWA, and four Eastern Catholics were among 44 prelates elevated to the College of Cardinals on 21 February.
The new Eastern Catholic cardinals are Ignace Moussa I Cardinal Daoud, 70, Prefect of the Holy See’s Congregation for the Eastern Churches and former Syriac Patriarch; Stephanos II Cardinal Ghattas, 81, Coptic Catholic Patriarch; Lubomyr Cardinal Husar, 68, Ukrainian Greek Catholic Major Archbishop; and Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil, 73, Syro-Malabar Catholic Major Archbishop.
An Act of Peace
In the midst of hostilities between the Israeli Defense Forces and militant Palestinians, Father Guido Gockel, M.H.M., Regional Director for Palestine, Israel and Cyprus, travels weekly to the Palestinian villages of Beit Jala and Beit Sahour, where he visits families whose homes have been damaged by shelling.
After determining the extent of the damage, Father Gockel personally distributes funds of $1,000–or in the worst cases, $2,000 – to make the homes habitable.
More than 60 families have received aid thus far.
Passing the Torch
After 16 years of dedicated service at the Pontifical Mission’s Mother of Mercy Clinic in Zerqa, Jordan, the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood have left Zerqa to concentrate more fully on their work in Africa. The Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine, an Iraq-based Chaldean Catholic community, have assumed day-to-day operations of the clinic.
To mark the transition, the two communities celebrated liturgy together and shared lunch. Then, in a simple ceremony, the Franciscans gave the Dominicans a candle engraved with each community’s emblem.
Located near a major Palestinian refugee camp, the Mother of Mercy Clinic, established in 1985, serves 31,000 patients each year. In addition to providing medical care, the clinic offers preventive health programs designed to help eliminate common health problems in the local community.
Promoting Christian Unity in India
Historically, CNEWA has worked closely with India’s Syro-Malankara and Syro-Malabar Catholic churches. Increasingly, however, the agency is also working with the Orthodox churches in that country.
On 15 January, Chorbishop John D. Faris, Assistant Secretary General, and Thomas Varghese, Programs Director, met with 86-year-old Catholicos Baselius Mar Thoma Matthews II, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Catholicos of the East. Among the items discussed was the progress of the St. Thomas Ecumenical Center, partly funded by CNEWA and currently under construction in Nilackal, one of the seven Christian communities established by the Apostle Thomas.
On 19 January, Chorbishop Faris and Mr. Varghese met with Joseph Mar Gregorios, Malankara Syrian Orthodox Metropolitan of Cochin. The meeting was the first opportunity for the three to establish bonds of friendship and to discuss common interests.
Syriac Catholic Patriarch Elected
On 16 February, the synod of the Syriac Catholic Church elected the Syriac Catholic Patriarchal Exarch of Jerusalem, Mar Gregorius Butros Abdel-Ahad, 70, Patriarch of Antioch of the Syrians. Assuming the name Ignace Pierre VIII, the Patriarch succeeds Ignace Moussa I Cardinal Daoud as head of the Syriac Catholic Church.
Born in Aleppo, Syria, Patriarch Ignace Pierre VIII earned a Licentiate in philosophy and theology at St. Ephraem and St. Benedict Seminary in Jerusalem. Ordained a priest in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1954, he served as treasurer, professor and director of the minor and major seminaries of the Syriac Catholic Patriarchate in Charfet, Lebanon, until 1965. He then served in Syriac Catholic parishes in Bethlehem (1965 to 1977) and Jerusalem (1977 to 1997). Pope John Paul II confirmed the election and extended ecclesial communion on 20 February.