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Current Issue
July, 2019
Volume 45, Number 2
  
2 August 2019
Greg Kandra




Late Thursday, Syria agreed to a cease-fire in the northwestern corner of the country.
(video: PressTV/YouTube


Syria agrees to cease-fire (AP) Syria’s government said it has agreed to a conditional cease-fire starting late Thursday in northwestern Syria, according to state media. Government troops and allied Russia warplanes have been carrying out a three-month offensive against the rebel’s last stronghold, which has displaced hundreds of thousands and has targeted health facilities and other infrastructure…

Interreligious summit in Lebanon seeks national unity (Fides) The Lebanese national unit represents an indispensable guarantee to build a better future for Lebanon, and the coexistence among the different components of the population must be preserved from any threat connected to the resurgence of sectarian impulses and conflicts. This is the most significant emphasis contained in the final declaration of the interreligious spiritual summit convened on Tuesday 30 July in Beirut, at the “House of Druze communities”…

Dilemma for Indian Church as idea of Hindu nationhood grows (UCANews.com) On 11 July, ten Congress lawmakers in Goa, eight of them Catholics, defected to the Hindu nationalist party — the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Ordinarily, defections and horse-trading are not new to a state like Goa where politics is controlled by corrupt casino operators and mining barons. But the move by Catholic lawmakers has shocked Christian voters as well as a section of the Church...

In Jerusalem, a deeper divide in a divided city (Newsweek) Silwan [is] a bitterly contested piece of real estate, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in microcosm. Both Jews and Arabs say they were here first and both accuse the other of trying to rewrite history. Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem have few interactions that are not transactional, despite living side-by-side. Fear and suspicion are part of everyday life. And several contested archaeological digs in East Jerusalem, supported by Israeli groups and opposed by Palestinians, together with an influx of Jewish settlers and a boom in tourism, have heightened the tensions in Silwan…

1,900-year-old tomb discovered at Christian pilgrimage site in Turkey (Daily Sabah) Excavation works have revealed a rock tomb believed to date back to the second century A.D. in an ancient Christian pilgrimage site in northern Turkey’s Karabük province in the western Black Sea region. Birthplace of the Saint Alypius the Stylite, the ancient city of Hadrianopolis was an important site of pilgrimage for early Christians until the city lost its importance in eighth century A.D. It is also known as the Zeugma of Turkey’s Black Sea region due to the mosaics have been found in the area…



Tags: Syria India Lebanon Turkey

1 August 2019
Greg Kandra




CNEWA Regional Director Argaw Fantu, left, meets with Bishop Lisane-Christos Matheos Semahun of Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. Read about the growth of vocations in CNEWA’s world, especially among the laity, in the July 2019 edition of ONE. (photo: John E. Kozar/CNEWA)



Tags: Ethiopia Vocations (religious)

1 August 2019
Greg Kandra




Conditions in the Rukban camp in Syria — shown in this 2018 video — have been described as "catastrophic." (video: TRT/YouTube)

Thousands trapped in a desert settlement in Syria (CNN) Shukri Shehab and his wife have not slept in two nights. Their three-week-old granddaughter will not stop crying. She needs simple medicine for bloating, Shehab says, but it is nearly impossible for them to find. Shehab lives in Rukban, an informal settlement for Syria’s displaced people in a US-protected zone in southern Syria, roughly 10 miles away from an American military base. Shehab has been communicating with CNN over the last four months. For more than 1,200 days, Shehab says he and his family have lived in this cluster of shelters sprinkled along a stretch of desert on the Syrian-Jordanian border. Activists dubbed it the “Triangle of Death.” The United Nations called conditions “desperate,” “catastrophic” and “no place for a child”…

Catholic bishops say India’s government ignores Christians (UCANews.com) Catholic bishops have proposed a series of changes in a draft education policy prepared by the Indian government, criticizing its silence on the rights and contributions of Christians…

Indian leader says government should invite Pope Francis to visit (UCANews.com) The Indian government should invite Pope Francis to come to the populous nation as vast numbers of people were anxiously hoping for such a visit, according to an Opposition Congress Party Member of Parliament. Kodikunnil Suresh told the lower house that a papal visit would enhance the nation’s reputation for honoring individuals who enhance communal tolerance and understanding…

Religious sisters take lead against human trafficking (CNS) A worldwide network of 2,000 Catholic religious sisters marked the 10th anniversary of its efforts to combat human trafficking and slavery on 29 July. Speakers from the Talitha Kum organization headlined a United Nations panel on the eve of the U.N. annual observance of the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. “Human trafficking is one of the darkest and most revolting realities in the world today, ensnaring 41 million men and women, boys and girls,” said the Rev. David Charters, second secretary of the Vatican’s permanent observer mission to the United Nations…

More than 500 congregations join Orthodox Church of Ukraine (The Christian Post) More than 500 congregations have joined the newly created Orthodox Church of Ukraine in the past seven months after leaving the Russian-affiliated church. Ukrainian Orthodox officials reported that in three months since the church was granted autocephaly, or leadership that does not need to answer to a higher ranked bishop, about 300 churches joined. In the four months after that, another 220 joined…

Archeologists say they have found Church of the Apostles (CNN) An ancient church long-rumored to be built over the house where the apostles Peter and Andrew lived has been found near the Sea of Galilee in Israel. A group of excavators — affiliated with Kinneret College in Israel, Nyack College in New York and the Center for the Study of Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins — said they made the discovery in June…



Tags: Syria India Refugee Camps Galilee

31 July 2019
Anubha George




The exclusive video above shows some of the remarkable work being done at the St. Clare Oral School for the Deaf in India. (video: CNEWA)

In the current edition of ONE, Anubha George writes about how children with hearing impairments are getting A Sound Education at a school in Kerala. But, as she writes below, sometimes it isn’t just the students who leave the school having learned a thing or two.

The visit to St. Clare Oral School for the Deaf in the southern Indian state of Kerala brought back memories. It was four years ago. A niece of mine was born premature, at 34 weeks. The neonatologist suggested tests pretty much every week, for her eyes and her hearing. Premature babies are more at risk of auditory problems.

Thankfully, there was no problem with her hearing. My visit to St. Clare reminded me of that time. Yet, it also taught me many things that I’m embarrassed to confess — things I had been judgemental about before. We felt relieved when my niece passed that audiometry test because we saw hearing impairment as a disability that would stop her from leading a “normal” life. But I met children at this school who lead fulfilling and happy lives. Some were partially hearing impaired, some fully. But there wasn’t a hint of self pity or a sense that something was lacking in their lives.

I often hear people describe a child with hearing impairment as “deaf and dumb.” Sister Abhaya, the principal in charge at the school, told me that was incorrect on so many levels. She gave me an example. I’m an Indian. Let’s say I go to Germany for a visit. I know not a word of German. If I’m in a group where everybody is speaking German, I wouldn’t be able to understand a thing or contribute to the conversation. I would be “dumb.” Any one of us can be “dumb” in certain circumstances. But these children have their own language to communicate — one I don’t know, sign language.

I’ve made a promise to myself: I’ll never again use the word “dumb.”

I also came to realize — to my embarassment — that some things I disparage can change lives.

I’m not a fan of smart phones, for the way they can sometimes take over everything we do. But at St. Clare Oral School for the Deaf, I found that smart phones are crucial. They offer the students a lifeline. When the students use video to make a call, they can see people — they can read lips and communicate. On a video call, they can chat and share with their friends in sign language; they can see faces and read emotions.

My visit to the school was a revelation — and helped me discover that sometimes a school offers lessons not only to those in its classrooms, but to visitors from outside, as well.

Read more about the St. Clare Oral School for the Deaf in the July 2019 edition of ONE.



Tags: Kerala

31 July 2019
Greg Kandra




Students participate enthusiastically at the Rosary Sisters School, where Sister Nabila Saleh is principal. Read her account of life as a teacher in A Letter from Gaza in the July 2019 edition of ONE. (photo: Ali Hassan)



Tags: Gaza Strip/West Bank

31 July 2019
Greg Kandra




Migrants are seen after being rescued by the Libyan coast guard, in Tripoli, Libya, on 26 July 2019. At least 115 migrants were believed dead after their wooden boat headed for Europe capsized near the north African coast of Libya on 25 July. Pope Francis in his Angelus message Sunday appealed for the international community to "act quickly" to prevent future tragedies.
(photo: CNS/Ismail Zitouny, Reuters)


Pope calls for action to prevent migrant deaths (CNS) Days after rescue workers recovered the bodies of dozens of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea, Pope Francis urged the international community to “act quickly” to prevent future tragedies. ”I have learned with sorrow the news of the dramatic shipwreck that happened in recent days in the Mediterranean waters where dozens of migrants including women and children have lost their lives,” he said after praying the Angelus with visitors in St. Peter’s Square…

Catholic group helps India quake victims rebuild (UCANews.com) The Catholic social service group of Rajkot Diocese, Kutch Jyoti Trust Bhuj, offered loans for people wishing to start income-generating projects. Ben took a loan of 12,000 rupees (then US$200) and purchased tools required for her husband to resume his carpentry work in 2003, two years after the quake. Soon the couple started a furniture shop in the village, repaid the loan within two years and got a subsidy of 3,000 rupees…

UN demands inquiry after Syria hospitals bombed (Al Jazeera) As the Syrian government continues to attack Idlib in the country’s northwest, 10 United Nations Security Council members have called on the UN chief to set up an inquiry into why its hospitals have been singled out. They’ve asked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to take action as the UNSC meets for the seventh time to discuss the growing number of people killed in Idlib…

Ethiopia plants more than 350 million trees in 12 hours (CNN) Ethiopia planted more than 353 million trees in 12 hours on Monday, which officials believe is a world record. The burst of tree planting was part of a wider reforestation campaign named “Green Legacy,” spearheaded by the country’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Millions of Ethiopians across the country were invited to take part in the challenge and within the first six hours, Ahmed tweeted that around 150 million trees had been planted…

New entrance could transform Jerusalem skyline (Jewish Press) An ambitious plan for the new entrance to Jerusalem is underway, which will forever change the main entrance to the capital city of Israel. The new complex, expected to be completed by 2022, will feature 24 towers, spanning between 24 and 40 flights tall. The towers will include approximately 1.5 million square meters of space that will be used for office space, hotels, housing units, and commerce…



Tags: India Pope Francis Ethiopia Jerusalem Migrants

30 July 2019
J.D. Conor Mauro




Syrian children socialize during a recess period at the Fratelli School in Saida, Lebanon. To learn more about how this school helps to bring education to a “lost generation’ of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, read Fratelli, Where Education Is Alive in the July 2019 edition of ONE. (photo: Tamara Abdul Hadi)



Tags: Lebanon Refugees Catholic education

29 July 2019
J.D. Conor Mauro




People go about their day in the Zabbaleen quarter of Cairo. For more about life in this Coptic enclave, and the sisters who serve their community, read Reclaiming Lives, from the July 2019 edition of ONE. (photo: John E. Kozar)



Tags: Egypt Copts

29 July 2019
J.D. Conor Mauro




Italian Jesuit Father Paolo Dall’Oglio is pictured in 2008 in an ancient cave near the Mar Musa monastery in Syria. (photo: CNS/John Feister)

Six years after priest’s disappearance, Syrian Christians seek prayers, answers (AsiaNews) Syrian Christians are asking that prayers continue so that one day we may find “the truth” of what happened to Jesuit Rev. Paolo Dall’Oglio six years after he went missing. Originally from Rome, the clergyman was the founder of the Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi community. Over the years, various rumours have circulated about his fate, but none have ever proven reliable. The last known sighting was in Raqqa, the stronghold of the “Caliphate” in Syria. Father Dall’Oglio went missing on the night between 28 and 29 July 2013, after he went to the headquarters of ISIS … demanding the release of several hostages in the hands of the jihadist group…

ISIS threat hovers over Syria camp, rattling authorities (Al Monitor) Stabbing guards, stoning aid workers and flying the Islamic State group’s black flag in plain sight, the wives and children of the ‘caliphate’ are sticking by the jihadists in a desperate Syrian camp. Months after the defeat of the jihadist proto-state, families of ISIS fighters are among 70,000 people crammed into the Kurdish-run Al Hol camp in northeastern Syria…

Church in India lauds public statement against lynchings (UCAN India) Catholic leaders in India have welcomed news that 49 of the country’s most prominent personalities have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to seek his intervention in religion-based violence…

Goa church opposes garbage plant near UNESCO-listed churches (UCAN India) The Roman Catholic Church in Goa on Sunday expressed its opposition to the proposed garbage treatment plant near the historically significant Old Goa Church complex near Panaji, claiming it is in close proximity to the 17th-century UNESCO-recognised monuments and that the proposal would not be acceptable to any “right-minded” Goan…

Catholic church inaugurated in Minya (Egypt Today) Coptic Catholic Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac inaugurated on Sunday Mar Gerges Church in Minya’s Nagaa al Dek in the attendance of Ambassador of the Holy See Bruno Musaro, Minya Bishop Boutros Fahim, and Sohag Bishop Basilius…



Tags: Syria India Egypt

26 July 2019
Greg Kandra




Nanditha Shibu chats with Sister Phincitta at the St. Clare Oral School for the Deaf in Kerala. Learn more about the school and how it offers A Sound Education in the July 2019 edition of ONE.
(photo: Sajeendran V.S.)




Tags: Kerala





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