ONE Magazine

The official publication of
Catholic Near East Welfare Association

Celebrating 50 years | God • World • Human Family • Church

Our World

Stories and events from around the world of CNEWA.

Person to Person

Participants in CNEWA’s Seminarian Sponsorship Program usually end their commitment when their seminarian is ordained. Not so with Lois Ann and Cecil Suter of Deerfield, Illinois.

Some 30 years ago, when the couple began their sponsorship of Antony Njarakulam of Kerala in southern India, all three did not think they would be such a perfect fit. They corresponded, and Antony kept the couple up to date on his studies. In 1975, he was ordained a priest for the Order of the Imitation of Christ, taking the name Charles Borromeo.

Although Mr. Suter died in 1999, Mrs. Suter keeps in touch with Father Charles and credits the priest with keeping her interest in India alive; she responded generously to CNEWA’s urgent request for financial assistance following the earthquake in India last year.

Quality Education in Ethiopia

During a recent trip to Ethiopia, Msgr. Robert L. Stern, Secretary General, spoke with church leaders there about CNEWA’s more active role in the education and formation of the nation’s priests and religious. Support of educational programs also extends to Catholic elementary schools, which CNEWA will help by training teachers in addition to its program of financial aid.

Msgr. Stern also noted that English is the language of instruction in Ethiopian seminaries and very often the language skills of seminarians need improvement. He envisions professional courses in English as a second language utilizing audiovisual aids.

No Room in the Camps

More than 40,000 Palestinians and 12,000 Iraqis have sought haven in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan since fighting between Israelis and Palestinians began in September 2000.

Ra’ed Bahou, CNEWA’s Regional Director for Jordan and Iraq, reported that refugee camps can no longer absorb the newcomers. Amman’s Italian Hospital has had to extend its free clinic from one day to three days a week to accommodate those seeking medical treatment. CNEWA and European aid agencies fund the clinic.

Focus on the Holy Land

Gregory III, Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, met with Edward Cardinal Egan, CNEWA’s President, and later visited CNEWA’s New York office on 31 May. He urged churches in the West to send representatives to the Holy Land in solidarity with Christians there.

While in New York, Patriarch Gregory joined in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Melkite Greek Catholic parish of the Virgin Mary in Brooklyn. He also prayed at “ground zero,” the site of the former World Trade Center, and reiterated his plea for peace in the Middle East. The Patriarch was on a monthlong pastoral visit to the Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Newton.

Religious Formation — All the Rage

A surge of interest in Christianity in Ukraine has compelled the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church to offer more religious formation programs, noted Sister Luiza Ciupa, S.S.M.I., Director of the Patriarchal Catechetical Institute in Lviv, Ukraine. On a recent visit to CNEWA’s New York office, the dynamic sister said that the church has responded with a broader range of texts and programs, tailored for all age groups. CNEWA has provided assistance to Sister Luiza to further the work of the institute.

Digging Out of the Ruins

CNEWA is sponsoring labor intensive programs in Palestine to help people help themselves. Men and women have been hired to rebuild homes, roads and shops. With unemployment rates soaring, these programs are providing jobs as well as restoring towns and villages. Also, schools are receiving funds to make repairs, allowing students to return to their classrooms.

Paying College Bills

Brother Vincent Malham, F.S.C., President of Bethlehem University, reported that the damage sustained by the school during the recent fighting is not a major concern. The problem is tuition, or rather the lack of it. Families of many of the students have lost their jobs and are unable to pay the fees, but the money is badly needed for salaries and daily operational costs. Bethlehem, long a center of pilgrimage, has seen a sharp drop-off in tourism since the fighting. Hotels, restaurants and shops are shuttered, leaving many people jobless.

Teleconferencing, CNEWA Style

Msgr. Stern briefed a preselected group of donors on CNEWA activities on 25 April. During the conference call, he spoke about his recent trip to Ethiopia and Eritrea and described a new program in those countries to improve the quality of seminarian formation. Msgr. Stern thanked the participants for their generosity and noted that, for many, giving to CNEWA means a “lot of sacrifice.”

Msgr. Stern looks forward to making the conference calls an ongoing part of CNEWA’s outreach to its donors. Interested? Call 800-442-6392, extension 503.

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