Playing in Besieged Bethlehem
On a visit to the Holy Land several years ago, CNEWA benefactors George and Marie Doty, moved by the plight of Palestinian youngsters who had no place to play, decided to build some playgrounds.
One, Brotherhood Park, opened in Gaza on Monday, 2 July. Msgr. Denis J. Madden, Associate Secretary General, members of the Pontifical Mission’s Jerusalem staff and municipal dignitaries attended the ceremony and hundreds of eager children looked on.
The following day, Msgr. Madden and members of the Jerusalem staff and their families attended the official handing over of Bethlehem’s Marie Doty Park (so named because it had been a birthday present from George Doty to his wife).
The Dotys donated a third playground, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, in 1997.
North America’s New Indians
On 18 June, Pope John Paul II named Msgr. Isaac Thottunkal Apostolic Visitator for the Syro-Malankara Catholic faithful in North America and Europe. Prior to this appointment, Bishop Thottunkal was Vicar General of the Eparchy of Bathery, Kerala.
Mar Jacob Angadiath was ordained and installed as the first Eparch of the newly erected Eparchy of St. Thomas of Chicago and Apostolic Visitator for Canada on Sunday, 1 July, by Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil, Syro-Malabar Catholic Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly. More than 4,000 Syro-Malabar faithful, 13 Catholic Indian bishops, Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago, and other Latin bishops participated. Chorbishop John D. Faris, Assistant Secretary General, represented CNEWA.
Lebanese Villages Honor CNEWA
Municipalities of the Shouf region of Lebanon honored CNEWA and its operating agency in the Middle East, the Pontifical Mission, on 21 July for their achievements in restoring villages in the Shouf.
The heads of eight municipalities–Bireh, Wadi El Sit, Dmit, Ramlieh, Fouwara, Kfarnis, Serjbal and Deir Doureet–and approximately 100 grateful villagers attended the ceremony. Other dignitaries included the Lebanese government’s Minister for the Displaced, Marwan Hamade, and five members of Parliament. Jon Breslar, USAID’s Mission Director, and Ghassan Jamous represented USAID at the event.
Issam Bishara, CNEWA’s Regional Director for Lebanon, Syria and Egypt, accepted a plaque on behalf of CNEWA and the Pontifical Mission.
Cardinal O’Connor Honored
On Wednesday, 11 July, President George W. Bush presented the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously to John Cardinal O’Connor, Archbishop of New York and President of CNEWA, in a ceremony at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Cardinal O’Connor died in May 2000 at the age of 80 after serving as Archbishop and President for 16 years.
Mary Ward, John Cardinal O’Connor’s sister, accepted the award.
Houses, Chickens and a Church — Small Town News from Eritrea
After 10 years of hard work, on 22 April 2001, the people of Mai Mine inaugurated their new church, the Church of Mariam Zion, built in honor of Our Lady. Thanks to their own efforts and with assistance from CNEWA, the faithful have a permanent house of worship. In addition, in a project spearheaded by CNEWA, the Basque city of Hondarribia, private benefactors and the Daughters of Charity are helping build houses and chicken coops for the women of Mai Mine.
Located in a marginalized area, Mai Mine is an administrative center for a population of approximately 45,000 people living on the Eritrean-Ethiopian border.
From California with Love
Fifth-grade students at St. Vincent de Paul School in San Francisco wanted to help children in Jordan. After discussing their idea with their teacher, Marjorie Murphy Campbell, the youngsters decided to raise funds to buy Bibles for their peers in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.For four weeks, these fifth graders sold candy and baked goods at a snack bar during school basketball games.
Their fund-raising efforts netted $173.13, which they forwarded to CNEWA with a note that read in part: “We hope this money helps and brings kids in Jordan closer to God. We also hope to raise more money for CNEWA very soon.”