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September, 2018
Volume 44, Number 3
  
3 July 2013
Greg Kandra




Sister Lovely Kattumattam enjoys a laugh with a resident at Ashraya Old Age Home outside Mumbai, India — the land first evangelized by the apostle St. Thomas. We profiled her work among the poor in ‘Slumdog’ Sisters. (photo: Peter Lemieux)

In his homily this morning for the feast of St. Thomas, Pope Francis spoke of how we — like Thomas — can discover the wounds of Christ daily, among our suffering brothers and sisters:

“In the history of the church there have been some mistakes made on the path towards God. Some have believed that the Living God, the God of Christians can be found on the path of meditation, indeed that we can reach higher through meditation. That’s dangerous! How many are lost on that path, never to return. Yes perhaps they arrive at knowledge of God, but not of Jesus Christ, Son of God, the second Person of the Trinity. They do not arrive at that. It is the path of the Gnostics, no? They are good, they work, but it is not the right path. It’s very complicated and does not lead to a safe harbor.

“Others,” the pope said, “thought that to arrive at God we must mortify ourselves, we have to be austere and have chosen the path of penance: only penance and fasting. Not even these arrive at the Living God, Jesus Christ. They are the pelagians, who believe that they can arrive by their own efforts.” But Jesus tells us that the path to encountering him is to find his wounds.

“We find Jesus’ wounds in carrying out works of mercy, giving to our body — the body — the soul too, but — I stress — the body of your wounded brother, because he is hungry, because he is thirsty, because he is naked because it is humiliated, because he is a slave, because he’s in jail because he is in the hospital. Those are the wounds of Jesus today. And Jesus asks us to take a leap of faith, towards him, but through these his wounds. ‘Oh, great! Let’s set up a foundation to help everyone and do so many good things to help.’ That’s important, but if we remain on this level, we will only be philanthropic. We need to touch the wounds of Jesus, we must caress the wounds of Jesus, we need to bind the wounds of Jesus with tenderness, we have to kiss the wounds of Jesus, and this literally. Just think of what happened to St. Francis, when he embraced the leper? The same thing that happened to Thomas: his life changed.”

Read the rest here.



Tags: Pope Francis Poor/Poverty Thomas Christians Saints Christian

1 July 2013
Greg Kandra




Pope Francis greets Orthodox Metropolitan John of Pergamon after praying with him at the tomb of St. Peter at the conclusion of Mass marking the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. The pope presented woolen palliums to 34 archbishops during the liturgy. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

Over the weekend, Pope Francis used the occasion of the pallium Mass to speak of the unifying role of bishops:

Every bishop is called to be “a servant of communion,” working tirelessly to overcome divisions so that differences become a treasure and not a source of conflict, Pope Francis said.

The Christian community should be “like a great mosaic in which every small piece joins with others as part of God’s one great plan,” the pope said on 29 June as he celebrated the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul and bestowed the pallium on 34 archbishops from 19 countries.

The pallium is a woolen band that symbolizes an archbishop’s unity with the pope and his authority and responsibility to care for the flock the pope entrusted to him. Archbishops wear the pallium around their shoulders over their liturgical vestments when celebrating the liturgy in their regions. A pope also wears one, although his is marked with red crosses, while an archbishop’s has black crosses.

Read more at the Catholic News Service link.



Tags: Pope Francis Ecumenism Catholic Christian Unity Orthodox

28 June 2013
Greg Kandra




This baby girl was found in a garbage can. Now she's loved and cared for by the sisters of the Holy Family Children's Home. (photo: CNEWA)

The CNEWA staffers visiting the Holy Land just sent us this photograph from the Holy Family Children’s Home, also known as the Creche, in Bethlehem. The child was rescued from the trash and given a new life at the home.

Msgr. John Kozar visited the Creche two years ago and described his experience:

We proceeded to a peaceful home for unwanted babies and expectant mothers rejected by families. It’s called the Creche of Bethlehem. What a fitting name. The director of the facility is named Sister Sophie and she is something special. This sister is the embodiment of the protector of little babies and the unwanted. She loves each and every one of the 91 childen cared for at the Creche.

She took us to a room with little ones ranging in age from a few days old to about nine months. One of the babies was left at a big garbage dump, another at Sister Sophie’s doorstep. Some children were dropped off for various reasons. There is no legal system for adoption in Palestine and Muslim tradition does not allow for it, so this is a big challenge. But Sister Sophie, her staff and her many volunteers still present loving smiles to all who visit.

There are many ways to help children like these. Visiting our Giving Center to learn how you can make a difference in the lives of these little ones.



Tags: CNEWA Children Holy Land Holy Land Christians Bethlehem

27 June 2013
Greg Kandra




With direction from the sisters, women at Queen’s Garments have a chance to better their lives. (photo: Sean Sprague)

Can a needle and thread change a life? We saw evidence of that a few years ago in India:

Inside a large house in the wooded hills of Kottayam, a district in the southern Indian state of Kerala, Sangeetha Pushpam crouched over a sewing machine, stitching fabric. She is 19, and has been working for four years to help support her family, which her father had abandoned.

After dropping out of school at 15, Sangeetha was hired by a cashew factory. She was getting paid practically nothing, however, and the factory conditions were taking their toll on her health. She suffered chest pains. Sangeetha wanted to move on and enrolled in a tailoring course. She did not have enough money to complete it, however, and she dropped out.

Fortunately, Sangeetha was invited to Kottayam to join Queen’s Garments, a sewing shop run by the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel, a religious community for women of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church. Founded in 1866, the community includes 6,000 sisters who run charities, schools and hospitals throughout India and abroad.

In a converted novitiate, Sangeetha works with 20 other young women from poor, often broken, families.

“Our mission is to promote plain living, high thinking and selfless service to eradicate poverty and suffering,” said Sister Suma Rose, who started Queen’s Garments in May 2004.

There is a special need for helping women in India, Sister Suma said. They are “undervalued, underrecognized, underrepresented and marginalized in society.”

Read more about Queens Garments in the September 2006 issue of ONE.



Tags: India Sisters Education Poor/Poverty Indian Catholics

26 June 2013
Greg Kandra






CNEWA’s magazine ONE took home a record-shattering 22 prizes — including First Place for General Excellence — at the 2013 Catholic Press Association awards held at the Catholic Media Conference in Denver on Friday.

It’s the second time in two years that ONE has set the record for the number of awards won by a single magazine.

The prizes cut across all categories, including electronic media, analysis, design, feature writing and blogs. Summing up the magazine’s achievement for general excellence, the judges wrote:

The design, photography, and writing place ONE among the very best of this year’s Catholic magazines, regardless of category. The design of each spread contributes to the meaning conveyed in graceful writing and powerful images. Various graphic devices unify the spreads from color text blocks through screened background photos to special fonts. Above all, perhaps, ONE provides a global view of the human family with an emphasis on the Near East.

The judges this year were journalism professors at Spring Hill College and Marquette University.

A complete list of ONE’s awards follows:

First Place:

General Excellence (Mission Magazines)

Best Personality Profile
  Salvaging Dignity by Sarah Topol, Dana Smillie

Best Feature Article (Mission Magazines)
  Praying Behind Barbed Wire by Joost van Egmond

Best Electronic Newsletter
  “Discover ONE Online” by Staff

Individual Excellence (Editor)
  Kerala’s Spice Coast; The High Stakes of Leaving; Salvaging Dignity
  by Christopher Boland

Second Place:

Best Essay (Mission Magazines)
  Middle East Christians and the Arab Awakening by Elias Mallon

Best Multiple Picture Package (Feature)
  A Romanian Renaissance by Andreea Câmpeanu

Best Online/Multi-Media Presentation of Visuals
  Interview with Journalist Joost van Egmond by Erin Edwards

Best Freestanding Online/Multimedia Presentation of Video
  CNEWA Annual Report 2011 by Staff

Third Place:

Best Essay (Mission Magazines)
  Jewish and Non-Jewish Identities in Israel by Ron Kronish

Best Single Photo (Color)
  A Bridge to Modern Life (Nun and Bedouin Child) by Tanya Habjouqa

Best Photo Story Originating with a Magazine or Newsletter
  The Colors of Easter by Marvin Anderson

Best Multiple Picture Package (Feature)
  Salvaging Dignity by Sarah Topol, Dana Smillie

Best In-Depth Writing
  Salvaging Dignity by Sarah Topol, Dana Smillie

Best Feature Article (Mission Magazines)
  Making the Grade by Peter Lemieux

Best Online/Multi-Media Presentation of Visuals
  Images from Slovakia by Erin Edwards

Best Online Blog (Group or Association)
  ONE-TO-ONE by Staff

Best Magazine or Newsletter Website
  One Magazine by Staff

Best Web and Print Combination Package
  Profiles: The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
  by Michael J. L. La Civita, Erin Edwards

Individual Excellence (Photographer/Artist)
  A Romanian Renaissance; The Colors of Easter; Kerala’s Spice Coast;
  A Fruitful Trade by Daria Erdosy

Honorable Mention:

Best In-Depth Writing
  India’s Christian Untouchables by Peter Lemieux

Individual Excellence (Writer)
  Religious Minorities in the Middle East;
  Middle East Christians and the Arab Awakening;
  Keep Alive the Flame of Divine Love (Subsection: “Why It Matters”)
  by Elias D. Mallon

Congratulations to all the winners — and thank you to all our readers!

You can view a complete list of all winners, in all categories, at the Catholic Press Association site. And, of course, you can always visit ONE online at our website, where you can read the current issue or browse our archives.



Tags: CNEWA ONE magazine

26 June 2013
Greg Kandra




Sister Katharina helps a young friend at Maison du Sacre Coeur, a home for children with severe physical and mental challenges. (photo: CNEWA)

As we noted yesterday, CNEWA staffers are visiting the Holy Land this week, along with members of the Catholic Women’s League of Canada, to see first-hand some of the places and projects supported by CNEWA’s generous donors.

One of those places is Maison du Sacre Coeur, which our magazine profiled several years ago:

“We try to give good care to the children,” explains Sister Katharina Fuch, D.C. “We try to assure good health and good food. We try to make life as agreeable for them as we can. We try to find what each child likes — music, play, laughter, television, radio, video. We want these children to feel good.”

The children are some 60 severely mentally and physically handicapped boys and girls, aged from newborn to 16 years. The place is the Maison du Sacre Coeur — the House of the Sacred Heart — in the Israeli port city of Haifa. The care-givers are Sister Katharina, three other sisters, a number of local specialists and other staff.

Sister Katharina is the Austrian-born superior of the House of the Sacred Heart, established by the Daughters of Charity, the religious community founded in France by St. Vincent de Paul.

In addition to caring for the resident children, the sisters also maintain a day-care center with 240 children, assuring working mothers that their children are well cared for during the workday.

Sister Katharina outlines all these activities as we sit in her neat office. Administrative responsibilities, keeping track of the staff and all the activities, are in efficient hands.

But it is when we go down to see the children that she really comes alive. It is with them that Sister Katharina feels most at home. As we walk between the cots she greets each child in turn, stroking their heads lovingly and talking to them affectionately. As she walks past, some grab at her hands, wanting to feel her touch.

Read more in Heart to Heart in Haifa from the December 1997 issue of the magazine.



Tags: Children Jerusalem Holy Land Health Care Holy Land Christians

25 June 2013
Greg Kandra




A young girl completes a class project at Meki Catholic School. (photo: Sean Sprague)

Over the years, we’ve done a number of stories about the dramatic impact Catholic education is having in a country that is predominantly non-Catholic: Ethiopia. In 2005, photojournalist Sean Sprague visited one town to report on the diverse student body:

At 25, Lemi Meta is the oldest of Grabafila elementary school’s 170 students. At well over 6 feet tall, Mr. Meta dwarfs his classmates, some of whom are as young as 7. And yet, Mr. Meta does not feel uncomfortable in this setting — a Catholic school not far from the southern Ethiopian town of Meki.

“I had a dream about going to school but I never had the chance,” Mr. Meta said. “I live in a remote area where there is no school. In my village only three people out of 600 have ever been to school.”

Each day, Mr. Meta walks two and a half hours each way to attend class and, despite his advanced age, he talks about becoming a doctor.

The Grabafila elementary school is one of two area Catholic schools supported by CNEWA (the agency also provides support to many of its students, who are enrolled in the agency’s needy child sponsorship program). The school consists of four classrooms and a single office for the staff. It lacks electricity, running water, computers and a library. Cows and goats wander nearby. Primitive by Western standards, the school nonetheless fulfills a need not yet addressed by the government.

“Ethiopia is a rural society, where 80 percent of the population depends on subsistence agriculture,” said Abune (Bishop) Abraham Desta of Meki. “Droughts, famine and war have devastated this country. Only recently have we seen the government, and some religious organizations, build schools.”

Though Ethiopia’s Catholics number only 500,000 (the total population is 70 million), the Catholic Church has built more than 230 schools and vocational centers throughout the country. “Education is the church’s priority in Ethiopia,” asserted Abune Abraham.

Read more about schools in Meki in Never Too Late to Dream in the July 2005 issue of ONE.



Tags: Ethiopia Children Education Catholic education Ethiopia’s Catholic Church

24 June 2013
Greg Kandra




In Egypt, a Zabbaleen man takes a break from operating a plastics grinding machine. This photo accompanied the story Salvaging Dignity in the September 2012 issue of ONE. The story, by Sarah Topol, on Friday was honored with First Place in the category of Best Personality Profile at the 2013 Catholic Press awards in Denver. (photo: Dana Smillie)



Tags: Egypt ONE magazine Copts Egypt's Christians

17 June 2013
Greg Kandra




In this image from 2008, an Iraqi mother holds her child near her new home in Syria. (photo: Spencer Osberg)

In 2008, we looked at the wave of refugees moving from Iraq, hoping to find sanctuary in Syria:

Iraq’s Christians have paid a high price for the war. Prior to 2003, about a million Christians lived in Iraq, accounting for some 5 percent of the country’s 23 million people. But as violence intensified, reaching a crescendo in 2006, extremist groups began targeting Christians. Living in small pockets within predominantly Muslim communities, and without organized militias to protect them, Christians proved especially vulnerable. Moreover, extremists increasingly viewed Iraqi Christians as collaborators with the Western “Christian” occupying forces.

Fleeing the sectarian violence that has engulfed Baghdad, Basra, Mosul and areas where Christians have lived for centuries, an estimated 400,000 of Iraq’s Christians have sought refuge in neighboring countries or further afield. Of the roughly half million who remain in Iraq, more than half are internally displaced, many having migrated north to the autonomous Kurdish region, which remains relatively stable.

Now, of course, many Iraqi refugees are on the move again, fleeing the civil war in Syria.

You can read more about them in two stories in the current issue of ONE: a look at Iraqis making a new home in Jordan and Syrians fleeing to Lebanon.



Tags: Syria Refugees Iraqi Christians Jordan Iraqi Refugees

14 June 2013
Greg Kandra




Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, England, and Pope Francis attend a prayer service during a private audience at the Vatican on 14 June. (photo: CNS/Stefano Spaziani, pool)

Pope Francis met for the first time the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury today, and in his prepared remarks spoke about the desire for Christian unity:

Today’s meeting is an opportunity to remind ourselves that the search for unity among Christians is prompted not by practical considerations, but by the will of the Lord Jesus Christ himself, who made us his brothers and sisters, children of the One Father. Hence the prayer that we make today is of fundamental importance.

This prayer gives a fresh impulse to our daily efforts to grow toward unity, which are concretely expressed in our cooperation in various areas of daily life. Particularly important among these is our witness to the reference to God and the promotion of Christian values in a world that seems at times to call into question some of the foundations of society, such as respect for the sacredness of human life or the importance of the institution of the family built on marriage, a value that you yourself have had occasion to recall recently.

Then there is the effort to achieve greater social justice, to build an economic system that is at the service of man and promotes the common good. Among our tasks as witnesses to the love of Christ is that of giving a voice to the cry of the poor, so that they are not abandoned to the laws of an economy that seems at times to treat people as mere consumers.

Read more of the pope’s remarks, and those of the archbishop, at this link.



Tags: Pope Francis Vatican Ecumenism Christian Unity





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