Vatican Agency Reorganizes North American Operations

NEW YORK — To enhance Catholic Near East Welfare Association’s promotional and fund-raising activities in Canada, a branch of CNEWA has been established in Canada, Msgr. Robert L. Stern, CNEWA’s Secretary General, announced.

Encouraged by the Holy See, five Canadian archbishops – led by Archbishop Marcel Gervais of Ottawa – constituted CNEWA Canada on 30 October 2003. Carl Hétu, formerly with the Canadian Catholic Organisation for Development and Peace, was appointed the first National Secretary of CNEWA Canada, effective 16 February. Mr. Hétu will oversee the development of this registered Canadian charity, promoting the work of the Vatican agency and raising funds for its works.

In the United States, CNEWA’s ongoing promotional and fund-raising activities have now been reorganized and incorporated separately as CNEWA United States. Maronite Chorbishop John D. Faris, who has been with the agency since 1996, was appointed National Secretary of CNEWA United States. He will continue to serve with the general administration of CNEWA as Associate Secretary General. Mill Hill Father Guido Gockel, former Regional Director for Palestine and Israel, has been promoted to Assistant Secretary General of CNEWA and Associate National Secretary of CNEWA United States, effective 8 March.

Maher Turjman, a Jerusalem native who has worked in CNEWA’s Jerusalem office for more than 10 years, most recently as Father Gockel’s immediate associate, has been appointed Regional Director for Palestine and Israel. He is the first Palestinian to lead CNEWA’s Jerusalem office.

Since Pope Pius XI established it in 1926, CNEWA has been centered in the United States, but always understood to be an international Vatican agency. Although its administrative headquarters is in New York City, CNEWA is independent of the Archdiocese of New York and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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