U.N. Archbishop Visits CNEWA
Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to theUnited Nations, paid his first visit to CNEWA’s New York office since assuming his new position. Msgr. Robert L. Stern, Secretary General, and Msgr. Denis J. Madden, Deputy Secretary General, briefed the Archbishop on the diverse work of CNEWA, including the agency’s emergency relief efforts in Iraq.
CNEWA works closely with the Holy See Mission to the U.N. CNEWA’s Brother David Carroll, F.S.C., serves as an adviser, particularly in matters related to the Middle East.
Twelve U.S. Catholic bishops attended a workshop on Islam and Catholic-Islam relations – the first of its kind. William Cardinal Keeler, CNEWA’s Vice President and a participant in the workshop, said the occasion “stressed the importance of meeting with people of other faith backgrounds” in order to share ideas and values. Msgr. Stern, who spoke at the workshop, discussed CNEWA’s work in the Middle East and of the agency’s working relationships with the Muslim community.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on Interreligious Dialogue sponsored the March meeting, held in Baltimore, which was funded by CNEWA.
Passage to India
Joseph L. Sell of Higley, Arizona, traveled to Kottayam, India, for the profession of vows of Josephine Sister Alphonsa Leo, whom he had supported as a novice through CNEWA’s sponsorship program for religious sisters. While there, he met with Sister Remya Mathew, a Missionary Sister of Mary Immaculate, who as a child was also sponsored by Mr. Sell.
“Now,” he said, “she, in turn, is helping other children. That’s what it is all about.”
Mr. Sell has been supporting CNEWA since 1981, sponsoring some 35 children. Many are stamp collectors, he added, and to their delight he often decorates his letters with canceled foreign stamps.
The people of Ethiopia and Eritrea face imminent death by starvation, said Brother Vincent Pelletier, F.S.C., in a talk to students at Boston College. CNEWA’s Regional Director for Ethiopia and Eritrea cited desertlike conditions as a main cause of the drought, but added that the border war between the two countries cost “money and lives.”
Brother Vincent’s talk at the college, part of a fund-raising weekend in March, brought in more than $5,000 and helped raise the students’ awareness of the problems in the troubled northeast African nations.
“You must feel it when you give,” Brother Vincent advised the students.
“If you don’t, it doesn’t mean anything.”
Boy’s Home Progress Report
A grant from a CNEWA funding partner, the F.S.C. Foundation, has provided the Malankara Boys Home in Karammoodu, India, with a computer lab that is preparing the residents, ages 10 to 14 years, to move into the information technology age. Fifteen computers and accessories will give the boys the hands-on experience they will need to find jobs in computer development.
Other fields open to the boys, said Father Jose Kizhakkedath, director of the home, include television and computer repair and electronics. The boys, some of whom are orphans or from troubled families, attend local government schools.
Feeding Iraqi Refugees
As part of CNEWA’s ongoing program to provide Iraqi refugees with emergency relief, Franciscan Sister Wardeh Kayrouz has set up five distribution centers in Amman, the Jordanian capital, that have the heaviest concentration of Iraqis.
Sister Wardeh, a social worker on the staff of our Pontifical Mission office in Amman, is assisted by 24 women volunteers in boxing and distributing food – enough for a family of four for 20 days. She expects to feed 1,200 families a month.
“We chose to focus on Iraqi families who have fled to Amman,” said Ra’ed Bahou, CNEWA’s Regional Director for Jordan and Iraq. “Few resources – foreign and domestic – were available to them.”