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

India Office Opens

CNEWA’s newest regional office has begun to function. Located in the environs of Ernakulam, Kerala, it is directed by Thomas Varghese, who had been CNEWA’s Director of Programs in New York for the past seven years.

In November, Msgr. Robert L. Stern, Secretary General, met with the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, the assembled bishops of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church and the Apostolic Nuncio to India to announce the opening of the office and explain its activities.

CNEWA’s work in India is the single largest national program of the agency. It supports 286 child care institutions, 91 novitiates for religious sisters and brothers and 46 major seminaries.

CNEWA’s Ernakulam staff will assure better and more frequent oversight of the programs and facilitate communications with Indian church personnel.

Helping Hands

A 400-strong group of CNEWA donors raised more than $30,000 in November at a fund-raising dinner at the Detroit Historical Museum for a mother and child clinic in Mosul, Iraq.

CNEWA’s new prenatal and postnatal clinic will be operated by the Iraqi Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena and staffed with local doctors, nurses and social workers.

Plans for the clinic include state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and computer technology. The clinic will offer counseling and educational services in addition to heath care.

Paying Back

Father George S. Sankoorikal is ministering today in Connecticut thanks to the generosity of Marie and Paul Wilson of Paso Robles, California.

Through CNEWA’s seminarian sponsorship program, the young man from Kerala, India, attended Dharmaram College in Bangalore and was ordained in 1971. Eight years later he came to the United States on sabbatical to study at the University of New Haven. While there, he served at St. Theresa parish in Trumbull.

“We need priests here,” his pastor told Father Sankoorikal, and he received permission from his bishop in India to stay on. During his assignment at St. Pius X in Fairfield, he was incardinated in the Diocese of Bridgeport. He is now stationed at St. Marguerite Bourgeoys in Brookfield.

“There are many men in India who are priests today thanks to CNEWA,” said Father Sankoorikal. “In a way, by training foreign seminarians, you are actually helping yourselves.”

New Chaldean Patriarch Elected

The bishops of the Chaldean Catholic Church elected retired Archbishop Emmanuel-Karim Delly their new patriarch on 3 December at a special synod in Rome. Patriarch Emmanuel III, as he will be known, had served his deceased predecessor, Raphael I, in Baghdad for many years, retiring in October 2002.

Born in Tilkaif in northern Iraq in 1927, the new patriarch was ordained a priest in 1952, consecrated a bishop in 1962 and named archbishop in 1967.

Following his election, Patriarch Emmanuel III met with Pope John Paul II, who granted him ecclesiastical communion.

Passing of Two Church Leaders

The churches of Eritrea and Ethiopia are mourning the losses of two leaders who died in early December.

Yacob I, Patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Church, died on 3 December. Born in 1926, Yacob became the second patriarch of the church with his election in 2002.

Eight days later, the Archbishop Emeritus of Addis Ababa, Paulos Cardinal Tzadua, died in Rome at the age of 82. Cardinal Paulos, a longtime friend of CNEWA, had led the Ethiopian Catholic Church from 1977 to 1998. During those years, he spearheaded the church’s relief efforts to combat drought and famine.

May they rest in peace.

Catholic Union

At the invitation of Swiss Bishop Pierre Bürcher, President of the International Catholic Union, Msgr. Stern participated in its annual meeting in Melk, Austria, in November. Delegates from Austria, Germany and Switzerland attended.

The Catholic Union seeks the unity of the Orthodox and Catholic churches; historically, its purposes and programs are similar to those of CNEWA.

Part of the agenda of the meeting was to explore models of closer collaboration between the two pontifical agencies.

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