11 October 2019
Children enjoyed fun and games and much more at an annual summer camp in Armenia.
(photo: Catholic Ordinariate of Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe)
While much of the world is getting ready for winter, some of our friends in Armenia this week shared with us this glimpse of summer.
Below is a video showing highlights of a summer camp that was supported, in part, by CNEWA.
As a report from the church puts it:
From June to August 2019, the Armenian Catholic Ordinariate of Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe hosted about 833 participants in “Aghajanyan” Summer Camp in a wonderful campsite of Torosgyugh. The children come from Catholic communities of both Armenia and Georgia.
The report goes on to say the camp also welcomed children with disabilities. Daily activities included catechism classes, to “provide children with a solid foundation in a rapidly changing world of values and morals.” The camp also featured dance, handicrafts, language clubs and games.
The report explains just how important this project has become:
Every summer, our participants are living the dream of a place where everyone belongs and knows each other; becoming more self-confidence and reinventing themselves in new situations; feeling included with their peers in a caring community; lasting friendships and endless fun; trying new things and exploring new talents; and making forever memories.
CNEWA is proud to support this venture — and we’re pleased to share this video of highlights from a summer many young people will never forget.
24 September 2019
The September 2019 edition of ONE focuses on stories of home and family.
The familiar saying tells us “there’s no place like home” — and the new edition of ONE magazine, now online, brings that message beautifully alive.
In the September issue, you will discover how so many of those we serve seek to find a home — often, after fleeing war or persecution — and how they are able to find it. You will learn how Filipino migrants are finding a sense of welcome and family in Lebanon, thanks to a group of Jesuit priests. You will meet Iraqi Christians returning to their homeland, with renewed resolve and a sense of purpose. And CNEWA’s president, Msgr. John E. Kozar, offers some thoughts on how the ultimate home, and ultimate family, for so many of those we serve is the church.
We invite you to check out those stories and much more in ONE. Meantime, check out a special preview below, from Msgr. Kozar.
5 September 2019
A group of migrants tour historic Kerak, Jordan, on their way to the Ader Learning Center.
We received the following email from Ra’ed Bahou, CNEWA’s regional director in Amman, describing some of CNEWA’s outreach to Filipino migrants who have settled in Jordan:
Our staff took part recently in a pilgrimage to Kerak and the Ader Learning Center, under the care of the Rev. Boulos Baqa’in. Three library staff accompanied some 40 migrants, who visited Kerak Castle with Father Boulos and a tour guide, who explained the biblical, historical, and archeological importance of the place to Jews, Christians and Muslims.
At noon, they attended Divine Liturgy at a Greek Catholic Church. After that, they interacted with children and parents at the Ader Learning Center, which CNEWA supports; they distributed coloring books and games to the children, along with cultural magazines for adults, some books on religion and two balls for playing football.
It was a fulfilling encounter for everyone!
21 August 2019
Tags: Jordan Migrants
Flash floods in Kerala have wiped out houses, leaving many families homeless and in desperate need. (photo: CNEWA)
Catholic Near East Welfare Association has received urgent requests for aid from partners in flood-ravaged Kerala in southern India.
The Syro-Malabar Catholic Eparchy (diocese) of Palghat reports that torrential rains have triggered landslides in the hilly areas of the Palakkad District, burying houses, people, livestock and patches of agricultural lands in mud several feet deep. CNEWA’s regional director in Kerala, M.L. Thomas, adds that flash floods have ravaged the lower regions of the district, destroying houses and fields located along its rivers and streams.
“Raging floodwaters have caused massive mudslides in the hilly areas,” he writes. “Farm lands have been wiped out and houses have disappeared. It is heartbreaking to watch.”
Bishop Jacob Manathodath of Palghat and the bishops in the neighboring eparchies of Mananthavady and Thamarassery have asked CNEWA for monies to help clean and restore homes for the poorest families affected by the flooding and landslides, as well as funds to help subsistence farmers clear their devastated plots — most of which are smaller than 2 acres — and reclaim them for vegetable cultivation and the keeping of livestock, such as pigs and goats and chickens.
CNEWA is asking our generous donors to help our suffering brothers and sisters in southern India in their hour of need.
Many residents of Kerala depend on livestock and agriculture for their livelihood — and these have been wiped out by the flooding. (photo: CNEWA)
“Their livelihoods have been shattered,” Mr. Thomas writes, “and measures need to be taken to restore their lives as soon as possible.”
Click here to help people affected by floods in Kerala.
In the United States, urgent donations can be made online at www.cnewa.org; by phone at 800 442 6392; or by mail, CNEWA, 1011 First Avenue, New York, NY 10022 4195.
In Canada, visit www.cnewa.ca; write a cheque to CNEWA Canada and send to 1247 Kilborn Place, Ottawa, Ontario K1H 6K9; or call toll-free at 1 866 322 4441.
Since the torrential rains began on 8 August, more than a quarter of a million people have been displaced and housed in temporary shelters, including in parish community centers. As priests and sisters visit the hardest hit families, parishes are mobilizing relief supplies for those who remain displaced and living in camps. The death toll continues to climb — at least 200 by several accounts — as bodies are recovered from homes buried in mud.
The flood devastation has left many Kerala residents trying to salvage whatever they can of their homes. (video: CNEWA)
“While we are not an emergency relief organization,” says CNEWA’s president, Msgr. John Kozar, “I urge our friends and benefactors to do what they can to help us as we accompany the churches of Kerala respond to these real human tragedies.
“Helping the poorest of the poor — right now through the eparchies of Palghat, Mananthavady and Thamarassery — is a beautiful expression of how we stand in solidarity with the Eastern Catholic churches.”
An agency of the Holy See, CNEWA works throughout the subcontinent of India, the Middle East, Northeast Africa and Eastern Europe. On behalf of the pope, CNEWA works for, through and with the Eastern churches, rushing aid to displaced families; providing maternity and health care for the poorest of the poor; assisting initiatives for the marginalized, especially the children, elderly and disabled; and offering formation and supporting the education of seminarians, religious novices and lay leaders.
CNEWA is a registered charity in the United States by the State of New York and in Canada. All contributions are tax deductible and tax receipts are issued.
28 June 2019
Tags: CNEWA Kerala
The July 2019 edition of ONE is now online.
Looking for some great reading this summer? The new edition of CNEWA’s award-winning magazine ONE is now online.
In the July 2019 edition, readers can visit a remarkable school in Lebanon; meet Syrians finding a new home with ancient roots in Armenia; discover how some of Egypt’s poorest residents are reclaiming dignity, even when living among garbage; and rediscover how each of us has a vocation.
It’s a rich and inspiring collection of stories and we’re pleased to share them with you this summer.
Check out the video preview from our president, Msgr. John E. Kozar, below. And click here to read more online.
27 June 2019
Tags: ONE magazine
CNEWA-Pontifical Mission marked 70 years of service to the church of Jerusalem with Mass at the chapel of the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Centre. (photo: CNEWA)
On 18 June 2019, our Jerusalem team marked 70 years of service to the peoples of the church of Jerusalem with a celebration of the Eucharist at the chapel of the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Centre. Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, Apostolic Nuncio to Israel and Cyprus and Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine, presided. The solemn Mass was dedicated to all those who have served CNEWA-Pontifical Mission.
A special assembly was held after the liturgy. Regional Director Joseph Hazboun offered words of welcome to the guests, which included Mar Gabriel Dahho, Syriac Orthodox Bishop of Jerusalem; Bishop Boulos Marcuzzo of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem; Father Francesco Patton, Custos of the Holy Land; representatives of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in Galilee and Jerusalem and the Syriac Catholic Church; priests, religious sisters, representatives of local Catholic aid organizations; and directors of partner institutions. The program included a short film highlighting the work of CNEWA-Pontifical Mission, a bagpipe performance of the Palestinian National Anthem by the Melkite Greek Catholic Scout Troop in Jerusalem and a Dabke dance performance by Siwar Association for Culture and Arts.
The Melkite Greek Catholic Scout Troop performed the Palestinian National Anthem on bagpipes after the liturgy. (photo: CNEWA)
The event marked, to the day, Pope Pius XII’s establishment of the Pontifical Mission for Palestine, an ad hoc committee founded to coordinate and deliver worldwide Catholic aid for Palestinian refugees displaced by the Arab-Israeli war of 1948. Placed by the pope under the direct administration of CNEWA, the Pontifical Mission’s activities have been expanded under succeeding pontiffs to include care for all those displaced by war and migration throughout the Middle East, as well as the support for the pastoral and humanitarian works of the churches of the region.
In collaboration with local Christian institutions, aid through our Jerusalem office has reached thousands of families, especially the most vulnerable, such as children and youth, the sick and the elderly, all of whom need basic services, especially in areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip where resources are very limited. Over the years, the agency has also supported programs that help preserve Palestinian culture and heritage, and helped fund educational and formation initiatives for children, especially underserved communities in Palestine and Israel, including the children of migrants from Africa and Asia.
CNEWA-Pontifical Mission’s enduring presence in the Middle East is a tangible sign of the Holy Father’s sincere concern for the needy, the dispossessed, the refugee and the underprivileged.
To learn more about CNEWA-Pontifical Mission’s activities in the Middle East, please visit here.
24 June 2019
Tags: CNEWA Jerusalem CNEWA Pontifical Mission
CNEWA’s ONE magazine took home top honors from the Catholic Press Association at its annual awards last week.
CNEWA’s flagship publication, ONE, took home top honors at the Catholic Media Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida, last week.
The magazine was named Magazine of the Year (Mission Magazine category) at the Catholic Press Association Awards, and won 26 others in a wide range of categories including writing, photography, blogging and design.
In addition, the magazine’s publisher, Msgr. John E. Kozar, received the prestigious Bishop John England Award, which annually honors a publisher who has been a staunch defender of press freedom.
In one magazine category, Best Layout or Article Column, CNEWA’s graphic designer Paul Grillo swept all the awards — and also won second place in the All Member Awards for Graphic Artist/Designer of the Year.
Citing the overall quality of the magazine, the judges praised the “great work” of the staff, cited the “excellent” layouts, singled out the “beautiful, informative coverage” and made a point to underscore the “exceptional journalism” that has become a hallmark of the publication.
The judges included faculty from Spring Hill College, Loyola University, Marquette University and media professionals and journalists from around the country.
A complete list of the awards can be found below, with links to the winning stories:
Magazine/Newsletter of the Year (Mission Magazines)
Best Layout or Article Column (Mission Magazines): This, Our Exile by Paul Grillo
Best Feature Article (Mission Magazines): For I Was in Prison by Don Duncan
Best Reporting on a Special Age Group: Windows to the World by Mark Raczkiewycz
Best Writing — In-Depth: Confronting Abuse of Women in Georgia by Molly Corso
Best Multiple Picture Package — Feature: This, Our Exile by Petterik Wiggers
Best Single Photo, Color: Thoroughfare in Mai-Aini refugee camp by Petterik Wiggers
Best Electronic Newsletter: “Discover ONE Online”
Graphic Artist/Designer of the Year: Paul Grillo
Best Blog — Group or Association: One-to-One by CNEWA Staff
Best Layout or Article Column (Mission Magazines): ‘For I Was in Prison’ by Paul Grillo
Best Coverage — Immigration:
Inspiring the Faithful in Jordan by Dale Gavlak
This, Our Exile by Emeline Wuilbercq
A Refuge in Lebanon by Doreen Abi Raad
Best Feature Article (Mission Magazines): This, Our Exile by Emeline Wuilbercq
Best Writing — In-Depth: A Source of Light by Gayane Abrahamyan
Best Multiple Picture Package — Feature: Windows to the World by Ivan Chernichkin
Best Layout or Article Column (Mission Magazines): A Letter From Iraq by Paul Grillo
Best Coverage — Ecumenical/Interfaith Issues:
Defining ‘Christian’ in Palestine by Samar Hazboun
‘For I Was in Prison’ by Don Duncan
Healing the Forgotten by Anubha George
Best Reporting of Social Justice Issues — Option for the Poor and Vulnerable: Healing the Forgotten by Anubha George
Best Cover, Color: ONE magazine, June 2018 by Paul Grillo and Nazik Armenakyan
Best Online Content Not Published in Print: CNEWA Connections by Elias D. Mallon, S.A., Ph.D.
Best Essay (Mission Magazines): A Letter From Iraq by Sister Clara Nacy
Best Reporting of Social Justice Issues — Option for the Poor and Vulnerable: Confronting Abuse of Women in Georgia by Molly Corso
Best Reporting of Social Justice Issues — Solidarity: Signs of Hope by Magdy Samaan
Best Reporting of Social Justice Issues — Life and Dignity of the Human Person: Windows to the World by Mark Raczkiewycz
Best Story and Photo Package: This, Our Exile by Emeline Wuilbercq and Petterik Wiggers
Best Writing — In-Depth: A Refuge to Mend and Grow by Anubha George
Best Multiple Picture Package — Feature: For I Was in Prison by Don Duncan
6 June 2019
Tags: CNEWA Catholic Press
Former Bishop Geevarghese Mar Timotheos of India died Tuesday at the age of 91.
(photo: Christian Molidor, R.S.M.)
We received some sad news this week from India, regarding a man who was a great champion of the poor:
Geevarghese Mar Timotheos, 91, former bishop of Tiruvalla Diocese of the Syro Malankara Catholic Church, passed away on Tuesday morning. The funeral will be held at St John’s Metropolitan Cathedral on Thursday. He was under treatment at Pushpagiri Medical College Hospital for the past six days due to age-related health problems.
Timotheos started his service as a priest under the Tiruvalla Diocese. He was the administrator of the diocese in 1987. He was elevated as bishop in 1988. He worked for the upgradation of Pushpagiri Hospital as medical college. Many hospitals and charity homes were launched by him when he served as bishop. He retired in 2003. He also served as the secretary of Kerala Catholic Bishop’s Council (KCBC).
He was featured in our magazine in 1995, in a story entitled The Heirs of St. Thomas.
May his memory be eternal.
10 May 2019
Tags: Syro-Malankara Catholic Church Indian Bishops
Some of the girls at the Abune Endreans Children's Home in Ethiopia pray during Mass.
Recently, we received an encouraging update from Argaw Fantu, our regional director in Addis Ababa, about a home for children that CNEWA is supporting in Ethiopia:
The Apostolic Vicariate of Harar, in the eastern Ethiopia, was erected in March 1937. Since then, the Catholic Church has become more visible with its social development services — providing education, emergency services during times of food shortage, and potable water for the vast rural population.
For a variety of reasons, family life in this part of the country can sometimes be unstructured and lead to poverty. Some of the children are semi-orphans. The Catholic Church in eastern Ethiopia is striving to help young girls and children through boarding facilities and the guidance of Capuchin priests.
The Abune Endreans Children’s Home in Dire Dawa is one of these initiatives. It has helped many girls to grow, become self-reliant, and contribute to the good of others. Several weeks ago, CNEWA’s staff from Addis Ababa had an opportunity to visit this home and meet the children, their guardian Capuchin community and Abune Angelo Pagano, OFM, Cap, the Apostolic Vicar of Harar.
The girls are receiving a good education, following a well-organized schedule for study and chores. Older girls are in charge of assisting and training younger ones. This kind of program, we learned, allows children to grow — being responsible for each other and becoming caretakers of one another.
Abba Wondwossen Wube helps some students during class. (photo: CNEWA)
We met two girls who recently went to university for their higher studies after successfully completing secondary education. They were at the home during their semester break. They said that the home is everything for them. Though they have left the home to study, they said they really missed the family atmosphere. That is why they came during their break to stay with their “sisters.”
Abba Wondwossen Wube, OFM, Cap, recently assigned to be in charge of the home, said that the girls in this home are very special. On Saturdays, they are caretakers of the parish church compound; he said that they like singing and serving in the church. They feel very responsible for each other.
In the past, many girls have passed through this home. A few of them are now supporting it in whatever ways they can. For example, as Abba Wondossen put it,”one of the former resident girls of this home, who now lives in the United States, comes every summer and covers the annual school fees of many girls. Some others at one time bought a washing machine for the home. At another time, some former residents helped repair the kitchen. When I see these things, I feel proud of my Church.”
CNEWA is a longtime supporter of Abune Endreas Children’s Home. Currently 48 girls are being served there. CNEWA covers many of the larger expenses for maintaining the home, and we sincerely thank our donors who have made all this possible. The visit was very touching. Looking around the area and reflecting on the changing landscape of the vicariate, we witnessed the significant effort of the Catholic Church to help these young girls through this facility and others. Our partners are really navigators through these waves of challenges. Thank you, indeed!
Some of the young ladies pose for a portrait. (photo: CNEWA)
15 April 2019
Tags: Ethiopia Education
We were shocked and saddened, along with so many others around the word this afternoon, when news broke that one of the most beloved churches in the world, the 800-year-old iconic Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, was burning.
Early reports indicated it was caused by renovations and construction underway in the cathedral.
But images, such as those captured live on the video below, told the story.
As Christians around the globe begin to mark the holiest week of the church calendar — and prepare to remember again Christ’s passion, death and resurrection — we pray for the people of Paris and believers everywhere whose hearts are breaking at the destruction, the ruin and the loss of such a beautiful house of prayer.
This afternoon, CNEWA’s chair, New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan, released a statement:
I just went next door to our own beloved Cathedral, Saint Patrick’s, to ask the intercession of Notre Dame, our Lady, for the Cathedral at the heart of Paris, and of civilization, now in flames! God preserve this splendid house of prayer, and protect those battling the blaze.
Mary, Queen of Peace and Help of Christians, pray for us!