3 April 2018
Pope Francis greets the crowd during his Easter message and blessing “urbi et orbi” (to the city and the world) delivered from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on 1 April.
(photo: CNS/Vatican Media)
Netanyahu cancels plan to resettle African asylum seekers (Haaretz) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday that Israel is cancelling a deal with the United Nations on the resettling of African asylum seekers. The deal was annnounced by Netanyahu himself on Monday afternoon. The deal was set to stop the forced deportation to Africa from Israel of asylum seekers, resettle 16,000 of them in Israel and the same number in Western countries. Netanyahu hours later decided to suspend the deal, even though he has already signed it, following pressure from within his party and from coalition members...
Iraq vows to secure Sinjar border region (Vatican News) The Iraqi prime minister said that any attempt by ‘foreign fighters’ to launch cross-border attacks on Turkey will be prevented by the Iraqi military. Haider Al Abadi told Turkish officials he had ordered the army to establish full control of the national frontier, especially near Sinjar — a region of Iraq which borders Turkey...
Christians in Iraq celebrate Easter (The Jerusalem Post) Thousands of Christians celebrated the Assyrian New Year in northern Iraq over the last several days. The celebrations coincided with Easter and brought together groups of Assyrian Christian activists who are seeking to rekindle the flame of their community from the ravages of ISIS. The Easter Mass at the Saint Mary’s Assyrian Church of the East was attended by hundreds of worshipers on March 31, the same day on which Juliana Taimoorazy, the founder and president of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council and co-founder of a project called “Rise Nineveh,” led members of her group to Mosul to stand on the ruins of Nineveh...
War in Syria: Stories of survival and hope (National Geographic) “War arrives suddenly, uninvited, and brings with it a new normal,” writes Rania Abouzeid in No Turning Back, her poignant account of the Syrian conflict. Following the lives of a group of people from rebel-held areas over a period of five years, she brings home to us what television coverage rarely can: the human dimension of one of the most violent and complicated conflicts since World War II...
Pope’s Easter appeals include prayers for Syria, Gaza (CNS) In his Easter appeal for peace throughout the world, Pope Francis made special mention of the ongoing “carnage” in Syria and the recent violence along Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip, violence the Pope said had not spared “the defenseless...”
Pope’s Urbi et Orbi message: ‘The last word is the resurrection’ (Vatican News) Beginning his customary “Urbi et Orbi” message, Pope Francis greeted the faithful with “Jesus is risen from the dead!” He then said that Jesus used of the image of the grain of wheat that falls to the earth and dies to prophesy his own death and resurrection...
29 March 2018
Children play in the St. Rachel Center, a church institution that primarily serves the community of migrant workers in and around Jerusalem. CNEWA supports a variety of programs such as this, designed to help children around the world. (photo: Ilene Perlman)
I grew up in Tennessee and I’d often hear people say, “Blood is thicker than water.” But as someone who had been adopted, I sort of took on the mantra that “Love is also thicker than blood.”
Perhaps because I was adopted, my sense of family was always as widened — almost as though “family” was those I learned to love and those who loved and nurtured me, especially my church family.
Recently, CNEWA spoke with a donor who shared that wide sense of family in his support for our work and mission. Malcolm Donalson, professor emeritus of the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science, had this to say about his own very personal experience with his family:
That CNEWA carries an outstanding credential, as a relief organization associated with the Holy Father, there can be no doubt. Certainly, to participate in CNEWA‘s programs for children in the Middle East is a blessing and can have long-lasting, positive consequences. In my own experience, assisting children in Ethiopia through CNEWA was an inspiration to take the further step and adopt children from overseas. When I lost one of my biological children in an auto accident, having considered adoption previously led to my active pursuit of an adoption from India. My acquaintance with other adoptive parents during the process easily lead to a second adoption, in this case, from China. Without question, the adoptions of my two daughters were some of the signal events of a lifetime. Now in their 20’s, they have been nothing but blessings to one another and to our family. I will forever be grateful to CNEWA for the opportunities it has afforded me, including the inspiration to adopt two of my children.
Our president, Msgr. John E. Kozar, often likes to refer to the work we do — whether that’s in the field overseas or here in the United States meeting with friends and supporters — as a matter of caring for our one “CNEWA family.” We’re grateful to consider Malcolm Donalson and his own as part of that big family.
If you’d like to support our children-in-need programs, and be a part of the CNEWA family, you can do so by visiting this link. Thank you!
29 March 2018
The Rev. Baby Karintholil of St. Thomas the Apostle Seminary in India prays with a family during a home visit. (photo: Meenakshi Soman)
The new edition of ONE magazine includes a great glimpse at the formation of priests in India:
According to tradition, Christianity’s presence in India dates to the arrival of the Apostle Thomas in the first century in what is now Kerala. Today, in the hearts and minds of aspiring priests and many others throughout the state, visitors catch a glimpse of a church to come — one no less driven and hopeful than it was in those first days.
On a warm and humid February morning, a few men gather at St. Francis Theological College in Thellakom, a tiny village in Kerala. Seated in the library, the men — Brothers Abhilash Elamthuruthil, Nelson Verghese, Arun Elavumkal, Nishad Sebastian, Manoj Sebastian and Michael Thomas — discuss their call to serve the church as members of religious communities.
Brother Abhilash says he was inspired by reading a biography of St. Francis of Assisi while in secondary school.
“I then came in contact with Capuchin priests,” he says. “In our community, Capuchins have a good name because they lead a simple life. My parents were supportive about me joining them.”
Brother Nelson says his experience as an altar server in his parish in a village in northern Kerala helped him realize his calling.
“I believe I can work with people. That’s my charism. Capuchins aren’t limited to a parish. We work in the community, ready when required,” he says.
Read more. And check out the video below.
29 March 2018
Tags: India Priests Indian Catholics Seminarians
Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, washes the feet of a clergyman on Holy Thursday 29 March in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City. The ritual reflects the call to imitate Christ by serving one another. (photo: CNS/Corinna Kern, Reuters)
Easter in Jerusalem: No access for Gaza’s Christians (Al Jazeera) Israel has not issued permits for Gaza Palestinian Christians to travel to Jerusalem to celebrate Easter, church authorities have said. The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem said church authorities had applied for around 600 permits for Gaza Palestinian worshipers to travel, but had not received any…
Jews in Israel prepare for Passover (The Jerusalem Post) Jews in Israel on Thursday are making last-minute preparations for the Jewish holiday of Passover, due to begin Friday at sunset. In ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods of Jerusalem residents burn all remnants of leavened food they have in their house, before the start of the holiday…
Lebanon is drowning in its own waste (BBC) This beach has already been cleaned up 16 times, and had been cleaned less than a week before I stepped onto it with Joslin Kehdy, the founder of Recycle Lebanon, which arranges the cleanups. Plastic is turning up on beaches around the world, but the difference in Lebanon is that rubbish is also being directly dumped into the sea and coastal landfills — spelling disaster for the shoreline’s ecosystem and public health…
Thousands evacuate Eastern Ghouta in Syria (NPR) Let’s turn now to Syria and to the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta, where thousands of people are bidding goodbye to their homes and boarding buses to leave, maybe for good — a part of a deal with the government to end the rebel presence in the area…
Turkey’s churches publish landmark book of common Christian doctrine (Sight Magazine) A joint commission of Turkey’s major Christian denominations has published an historic book of concise Christian doctrine, receiving the unprecedented endorsement of all the nation’s Orthodox, Catholic, Armenian, Syriac and Protestant churches. According to Armenian Bishop Sahak Masalyan, keynote speaker at the formal book launch in Istanbul of the English edition on 3 February, the “most spectacular aspect” of the book is in fact its first page of endorsements, which he declared “akin to a miracle.” “[This book] expresses the shared beliefs of the churches in Turkey. We approve its publication and recommend that it be widely read,” the statement says…
28 March 2018
Tags: Lebanon Gaza Strip/West Bank Jerusalem Holy Land Christians
The March 2018 edition of ONE is now available online and is headed to your mailbox — just in time for Easter!
This edition focuses on formation, and there’s a rich collection of articles and images that help tell the story of how CNEWA is working to form faithful Christians in some of the most challenged and challenging parts of the world.
You will meet young Ethiopian sisters preparing to become leaders of their communities; you will hear from seminarians in India, describing their vocation journey; and you will be introduced to a a group of religious sisters in Jordan who are enriching the lives of the laity, many of whom are refugees.
Visit our digital edition to read more. And be sure to check out Msgr. Kozar’s preview below.
28 March 2018
Tags: ONE magazine
Sister Hanne Saad passes out sweets at an Iraqi youth group meeting in Jordan. Learn how the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary are Inspiring the Faithful in Jordan in the new edition of ONE.
(photo: Nader Daoud)
28 March 2018
The video above shows some of the damage of Eastern Ghouta in Syria. (video: YouTube)
Troops mass around rebel town in East Ghouta, Syria (BBC) Syrian government forces have massed around the last rebel-held town in the Eastern Ghouta area, after rebels were reportedly given a deadline to leave. A newspaper said troops were preparing for a “huge” operation in Douma, which is controlled by Jaysh al-Islam...
Syrian Christians feel like strangers in their own country (The Tablet) Poor living conditions, security problems and economic insecurity, have left Syrians &dlquo;feeling like strangers in their own country,” Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Selwanos Petros Al-Nemeh of Homs said this week...
Kerala closer to getting another saint (UCANews.com) The canonization process of Sister Mariyam Thressia, the founder of the Holy Family congregation of nuns in Kerala, is a step closer now. An expert team in Vatican has approved a miracle, the survival of a child born with acute respiratory failure, attributed to her intercession...
Israel approves plan to open new U.S. embassy in May (Haaretz) Acting at the request of Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, the National Planning and Building Council exempted the U.S. government from permitting requirements to enable the relocation of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May. That will allow work to proceed on a building in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood that now houses a U.S. consular section and will be repurposed as a temporary embassy...
Religious sisters in Indian slum work for human dignity (UCANews.com) The nuns of Devapriaya (beloveds of God) Sisters, a local congregation founded by former Bishop Gregory Karotemprel of Rajokot, aims to help poor women have a greater awareness of their rights and offers training and advice on how to earn an income...
27 March 2018
Shipla Joy helps with homework at the children’s home where she once lived, administered by the Sisters of the Sacred Heart in India. Check out the June 2017 edition of our magazine to learn more about adults who were nurtured in these homes and schools as children, and who now credit them for The Secret of Their Success. (photo: Don Duncan)
27 March 2018
Syrian refugees wait outside their shelters in late January at Zaatari camp near Mafraq, Jordan. The U.S. has a responsibility to help Jordan and stop the war in Syria, human rights advocate Kerry Kennedy said in meeting with Nobel laureates. (photo: CNS/Muhammad Hamed, Reuters)
Syrian refugees welcomed to Rome (Vatican News) “Welcome” and “Peace” were the words with which a group of children and adolescents and their families from the war-torn city of Homs in Syria were greeted on Tuesday morning as they arrived in Rome. They were also offered a Palm Sunday olive branch and an Italian language tuition book by members of the Sant’Egidio Community who met them at the airport...
Egyptians vote in presidential election (Vatican News) The incumbent President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi faces only nominal opposition as his only challenger Moussa Mostafa Moussa has been dubbed a ‘dummy candidate’ because of his known support for al-Sisi — it is an accusation he rejects. Although al-Sisi is almost certain to win, critics charge him with overseeing a huge austerity drive, suppression of dissent and cracking down on free media...
U.S., world urged to help Jordan aid refugees (CNS) The United States has a responsibility to help Jordan as it struggles to support hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and must actively seek to end Syria’s long civil war, American human rights advocate Kerry Kennedy told a conference on forced migration. “Stop the violence that creates the refugee crisis,” Kennedy said 24 March to an audience that included Nobel laureates, global leaders and children concerned about child trafficking, trauma and abuse stemming from the violence. “We have not done what we should to stop that violence and we can do that more all over the world...”
Cardinal Tagle to wash feet of migrants, refugees on Holy Thursday (Vatican News) Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila will wash the feet of migrants and refugees during this week’s Holy Thursday evening liturgy that commemorates Christ’s washing of the feet of His disciples. Cardinal Tagle, who is also President of Caritas Internationalis, the Church’s worldwide humanitarian confederation, recently released an Easter message urging men and women of goodwill worldwide to join the Caritas “Share the Journey” campaign that aims to reach out to migrants, tackle prejudice by changing perceptions and help people open their hearts and their minds...
26 March 2018
Students play during a break at the Abba Pascal Catholic Girls’ School in Soddo, Ethiopia. Learn why Catholic schools in the country are considered the Head of the Class in the June 2017 edition of ONE.
(photo: Petterik Wiggers)