Presidential Sendoff

After 26 years of dedicated service to CNEWA, Msgr. Archimandrite Robert L. Stern is retiring today.

Msgr. Stern first joined CNEWA in 1985 and two years later assumed leadership of the organization and its operating agency in the Middle East, the Pontifical Mission for Palestine. During his tenure as president — the longest in the agency’s history — Msgr. Stern revived CNEWA’s original purposes and charism; initiated its aggiornamento; supervised significant programmatic growth, opening regional offices in Eritrea, Ethiopia and India; improved the agency’s delivery of services; instituted sophisticated administrative systems to compete in the 21st century; expanded the agency, opening fund-raising offices in Canada, India and Italy; and heightened CNEWA’s role in the day-to-day lives of the Eastern churches.

Ordained a priest in 1958 by Cardinal Francis Spellman of New York, he served at a number of parishes, studied canon law in Rome, served as staff for the second and third sessions of Vatican II and worked in Colombia, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Msgr. Stern also served New York City’s Hispanic community for over 20 years, helping strengthen its voice in the Archdiocese of New York.

Succeeding Msgr. Stern as president of CNEWA is Msgr. John E. Kozar, who most recently served as National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States.

The CNEWA family is grateful for Msgr. Stern’s leadership, energy and vision. Many years!

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