Church Alive in the Caucasus
At the invitation of Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, a delegation of U.S. Catholic bishops and priests recently visited Armenia as part of the yearlong celebration of the 1,700th anniversary of the consecration of the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin.
The cathedral is the spiritual center of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
William Cardinal Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore and Vice President of CNEWA, led the delegation, which also included two CNEWA trustees, Bishops Basil Losten and John Nevins, and CNEWA Secretary General Msgr. Robert Stern.
The Armenian Church, Apostolic and Catholic, has flourished since the 1991 independence of Armenia, a former Soviet republic.
CNEWA WORLD Goes to School
Seventh graders at St. Bartholomew School in Elmhurst, New York, are using CNEWA WORLD as a supplement to their world history textbook. Social studies teacher Thomas Straczynski said the magazine gives students a glimpse of daily life in the Middle East. I want to show them what life is like there today. A garbage treatment plant in Lebanon, the famine in Ethiopia, work programs for Palestinians, jobs for the handicapped in Egypt. This is whats happening now. You cant get that in textbooks.
Some of the children feel close to certain topics, Mr. Straczynski said. I have children of Indian descent who enjoy pictures and stories from the land of their forefathers. Of course, African-American kids relate to stories about Ethiopia.
Help on the Way
CNEWA has acquired a building in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul that it will convert into a prenatal and postnatal clinic, said Raed Bahou, Regional Director for Jordan and Iraq.
The Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, who also operate Al Hayat Hospital for mothers and children in Baghdad, will administer the clinic. The Mosul facility, which will serve some 35,000 patients a year, will be modeled after CNEWAs Mother of Mercy clinic in Zerqa, Jordan.
Educating the Knights
CNEWA continued its formation program for Knights and Ladies of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. Msgr. Stern and Brother David Carroll, F.S.C., Assistant to the Secretary General, recently spoke at the annual meetings of six lieutenancies in the United States.
Msgr. Stern urged members to work with their elected officials in securing social justice for Christians in the Holy Land. Brother David addressed the evolution of the orders role in the Holy Land, from its founding in 1099 to current efforts to preserve the areas Christian presence and heritage.
Ruthenian Church Gains
The Ruthenian Catholic Church is experiencing an increase in vocations since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1989, reported Apostolic Administrator Bishop Milan Sasik of the Eparchy of Mukacevo, Ukraine. On a recent visit to CNEWAs New York office he said, What we need now is a modern facility for training young men, many of whom we have been sending to seminaries in Lviv or Ivano-Frankivsk.
Construction began on a seminary complex near Uzhorod, Bishop Sasik added, but work is proceeding slowly because of a lack of funds.
Based in southwestern Ukraine, the Ruthenian Catholic Church, while closely related to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in language, customs and traditions, is subject to the Holy See.
Roots Run Deep
It is impossible for Anthony Abraham of Miami, Florida, to forget his roots. The son of Lebanese immigrants, Mr. Abraham visits his ancestral land often and supports many charities there. Among the humanitarian institutions he assists through his Anthony R. Abraham Foundation are two orphanages, St. Vincent Créche in Beirut and Our Lady of Lebanon in Batroun. Nearer to home, he is helping St. Ann Maronite Church in Troy, New York, by renovating the church and building a parish hall and rectory.
The self-made entrepreneur, born 92 years ago in Youngstown, Ohio, works closely with CNEWA in selecting projects to finance, both here and in Lebanon.
Mr. Abrahams association with CNEWA goes back some 40 years, beginning with his friendship with Archbishop Joseph T. Ryan, CNEWAs National Secretary from 1960 to 1965.
Consulting in Rome
In mid-October, the 51 lieutenants and magistral delegates of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem met in Rome with the Orders Cardinal Grand Master and members of its governing council.
Msgr. Stern, a member of the preparatory committee, participated in the Consulta, an international gathering held every four to five years.