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December, 2017
Volume 43, Number 4
  
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10 January 2018
Greg Kandra




Students play outside of St. Vincent de Paul School in Alexandria, Egypt. Learn more about the school and the Daughters of Charity who run it in the current edition of ONE. (photo: Roger Anis)



10 January 2018
Greg Kandra




Clergy gather to inaugurate the Shamshabad Eparchy in Telengana on Sunday 7 January. The first bishop, Raphael Thattil, is shown, fourth from the left. (photo: Vatican Radio)

Syro-Malabar church inaugurates new diocese (Vatican Radio) India-based Syro-Malabar Catholic Church (SMC) on Sunday inaugurated a new diocese that Pope Francis had announced last year to provide pastoral care to India’s SMC faithful living outside their existing dioceses. Shamshabad Eparchy in Telengana state, became the 31st diocese of the eastern rite Church on 7 January with a Holy Mass and ceremony that included the installation of its first head, Bishop Raphael Thattil...

Egypt’s president attends Coptic Christmas liturgy under tight security (The Catholic Herald) In a show of solidarity with Egypt’s embattled Christians, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi on Saturday made a symbolic appearance at an Orthodox Christmas Liturgy in a new cathedral as tens of thousands of soldiers and police deployed outside churches across the country in anticipation of possible attacks by Islamic militants...

Ukraine language reform fuels identity crisis among ethnic Hungarians (AFP) Numbering around 100,000, ethnic Hungarians constitute the largest minority group in Transcarpathia, a western Ukrainian region behind the Carpathian Mountains that was once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Over the past few months the region has been at the heart of tensions between Ukraine and Hungary following the adoption by Kiev of a controversial law that seeks to oblige schools to teach in the Ukrainian language...

Rome conference looks at promise, peril of ecumenism and interfaith dialogue (Crux) Participants at a global conference in Rome this week on ecumenism and interreligious dialogue pondered both the promise and peril of divisions within different Christian and religious traditions, not just among them, acknowledging those tensions often get in the way of forging closer ties, but also insisting they have an upside. One expert went so far as to issue a rule of thumb for understanding another tradition — don’t focus just on where that tradition is compact, he said, but also where people are fighting among themselves...

U.S. bishops promote messages for National Migration Week (Vatican Radio) The bishops of the United States have chosen the theme “Many Journeys, One Family” for this year’s observance. The theme highlights the fact that migration is common to all families, since all families at some point, whether in the distant past or more recently, have stories of migration...



4 January 2018
Greg Kandra




In Egypt, the wrist of a Daughter of Charity bears the traditional tattoo a Christian receives shortly after birth — a mark of faith to the world. Read about how Charity’s Daughters are revealing their faith in other ways and serving the Christians of Egypt in the December 2017 edition of ONE. (photo: Roger Anis)



Tags: Egypt Copts Egypt's Christians Coptic

4 January 2018
Greg Kandra




A man prepares tea for customers on a cold morning on 2 January in New Delhi, India. Catholic bishops in the country have called on people to “preserve brotherhood, peace and harmony” in the new year. (photo: CNS/Rajat Gupta/EPA)

Indian bishops urge peace, harmony in 2018 (Vatican Radio) Catholic bishops of India are calling on the people of the country to “preserve the traditional brotherhood, peace and harmony” of the nation against what they described as an unacceptable “terrorism” of “false nationalism”. Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (C.B.C.I.) has issued a press release on the occasion of the new year saying the bishops are “praying for the nation, political and spiritual leaders, and for every Indian, that 2018 may be a year of peace and harmony, of love and fraternity, of inclusive and integral development for all peoples…”

UN: more than half of Iraq’s displaced have returned home (Arab News) More than half of Iraqis displaced by recent conflicts to other parts of the country have now returned to their homes, the U.N.’s International Organization for Migration said on Thursday. At the end of December, more than 3.2 million displaced Iraqis had gone home while 2.6 million still lived away from home, the IOM said…

Syria prepares for return of refugees from Lebanon (Xinhua) Syria’s Minister of Reconciliation Ali Haidar said Wednesday that Syria is preparing for the return of refugees from Lebanon, according to state news agency SANA…

It’s still Christmas in Armenia (Smithsonian) The new year marks the end of the holiday season in the United States, but elsewhere it is just getting started; in Armenia, first comes the new year, then comes Christmas. New Year’s Eve kicks off two weeks of holidays during which Armenians celebrate Christ’s Nativity, his baptism and the Epiphany. From 31 December to 13 January, Armenian families visit family and friends, exchange gifts, and come together to drink and feast…



Tags: Syria Iraq India Armenia

3 January 2018
Greg Kandra




CNEWA’s president Msgr. John E. Kozar just returned from spending Christmas in Bethlehem — and shared the above photograph, from a vespers service on Christmas Eve at the Church of the Nativity. Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Apostolic Administrator for the Latin Patriarchate, presided. Msgr. Kozar is shown standing, third from the right.
(photo: Nadim Asfour/CTS, courtesy the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem)




3 January 2018
Greg Kandra




A clergyman reacts to the news of an attack on the Coptic Orthodox Church of Mar Mina in Helwan, Egypt, near Cairo. Bishop Joseph C. Bambera has called for prayers for “our Coptic brethren who are enduring martyrdom for the sake of Christ.” (photo: CNS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh, Reuters)

Palestinians condemn Trump threat as ‘blackmail’ (BBC) Palestinian officials have dismissed as “blackmail” Donald Trump’s threat to cut U.S. aid over what he called their unwillingness to negotiate with Israel. A spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas insisted Jerusalem was “not for sale” — a reference to Mr Trump’s recognition of the city as the capital of Israel...

Nations look to Holy See for leadership on migration and refugees (Vatican Radio) In this year’s message for 1 January World Day of Peace, Pope Francis focused on migrants and refugees, highlighting the reasons why so many people are on the move and what our response should be. The Rev. Michael Czerny is undersecretary of the Migrants and Refugees office at the Vatican Dicastery for Integral Human Development. He talks about the importance of the 2018 Peace Day message — the first one to focus on this key area of international concern...

Bishop Bambera urges prayers for peace after attack on Coptic Christians (CNS) In the wake of a gunman’s attack on a Coptic Orthodox church and a Christian-owned shop near Cairo on 29 December, killing at least 12 people, a U.S. bishop urged Catholics to “pray for peace in Egypt and the Middle East and for all victims of religious and political hatred.” “I especially ask Catholics to renew their support, love and prayers for our Coptic brethren who are enduring martyrdom for the sake of Christ,” said Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs...

W.H.O.: Gaza’s health system close to collapse (The Guardian) Hospitals in Gaza will face an almost total power blackout by the end of February unless funding is secured to keep emergency generators running, the World Health Organization has warned...

Kerala preserving DNA of storm victims (The Hindu) The Kerala government has started preserving the DNA samples of those killed in Cyclone Ockhi as samples of only 42 out of 76 bodies recovered so far have matched with those of their families. An official said that 144 people were still missing and preserving the DNA samples would help the government in extending financial benefits and compensation to the family members as there were chances of the money being cornered by touts and middlemen...



2 January 2018
Greg Kandra




Melkite Greek Archbishop Georges Bacouni visits some of his flock at St. Vincent de Paul Hospital in Nazareth. (photo: Geries Abdo, courtesy Melkite Catholic Archbishopric)

The December 2017 edition of ONE features a Letter from Galilee, by Georges Bacouni, who serves the people where Jesus lived:

What a blessing, to be in this particular part of the world — where Jesus was born, grew up, proclaimed the Good News, was crucified and rose from the dead.

The Lord entrusted me with the flock of his homeland and to follow in the footsteps of the apostles.

When I was taught how to meditate on a Gospel passage, I was asked sometimes to imagine the places where Jesus lived: Capernaum, Tiberias Lake, Nazareth, Jerusalem.

Now I know all these places, and they remind me of the historical facts. But Jesus is not only part of the history, he is still alive and in the midst of his church.

When you enter Peter’s house in Capernaum, where Jesus healed the paralytic; when you see the place where he fed five thousand people; when you are in a boat in the middle of the lake where he walked on the water; and many other holy sites, I assure you that you feel you are sharing the experience of the apostles and the crowds. You feel privileged being Christian. Visiting these sites — let alone living there — is a spiritual retreat.

Many of my predecessors used to say, “I am the archbishop of Jesus.” I don’t dare say that, but it’s true in a way that the bishop in Galilee is responsible for Jesus’ hometown.

What a blessing! But in the same time, it’s a huge responsibility and difficult mission for many reasons.

Read more in this Letter from Galilee to discover why.



2 January 2018
Greg Kandra




Worshipers pray during Mass on New Year’s Eve at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Cairo. At least ten were killed in two attacks on the Coptic community Friday.
(photo: CNS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany, Reuters)


Pope expresses closeness to Coptic Christians after attack (Vatican Radio) At least 10 were killed in two separate attacks on the Coptic Christian community in Cairo last Friday. The so-called Islamic State claimed responsibility for both. After reciting the Angelus prayer in St Peter’s Square on Sunday, Pope Francis expressed his “closeness to the Coptic Orthodox” and prayed for the dead, the wounded and the whole community. He also prayed especially for the conversion of what he called “all violent hearts...”

For New Year, pope urges help for refugees, respect for life (CNS) Pope Francis began the New Year praying the world would demonstrate a marked increase in solidarity and welcome for migrants and refugees. “Let’s not extinguish the hope in their hearts; let’s not suffocate their hopes for peace,” the pope said on 1 January before reciting the Angelus with a crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square...

Israeli bill strengthens East Jerusalem occupation (Al Jazeera) Israeli legislators have approved a bill that makes it more difficult to divide Jerusalem. The bill passed early on Tuesday and stipulates that two-thirds support is needed in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, before Israel can relinquish control over any portion of the holy city to a foreign entity, according to local media...

Report: interfaith network of Muslims and Jews working to keep peace in Middle East (The Art Newspaper) A remarkable alliance of Israeli orthodox rabbis and Muslim religious leaders in the Middle East is mediating behind the scenes following the anger and violence sparked by President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last month...

Pope prints postcard illustrating the horror of war (CNS) As 2017 was drawing to a close, the horrors of war and people’s yearnings for peace were on Pope Francis’ mind and in his prayers. In an unusual move late on 30 December, the pope had the Vatican press office and Vatican media distribute a copy of a famous photograph from the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki...

Ancient artifact that could support the Bible found near the Western Wall in Jerusalem (Newsweek) A 2,700-year-old clay seal was discovered near the plaza of the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem five years after digging through the site started. The ancient find may have once belonged to the governor of the city. On Monday, Israeli archaeologists revealed the ancient artifact was discovered, saying the seal was inscribed with ancient Hebrew script as “belonging to the governor of the city,” reported Reuters...



29 December 2017
Greg Kandra




An elderly woman braves the winter weather in Nyírascád, Hungary, a village of 4,400 where Greek Catholics continue to hold onto their traditions as the world changes around them. Read more about Holding on in Hungary in the May 2006 edition of ONE. (photo: Balazs Gardi)



29 December 2017
Greg Kandra




Embed from Getty Images
Egyptian security members and forensic police inspect the site of a gun attack outside a church south of Cairo on 29 December. (photo: Samer Abdallah/AFP/Getty Images)

Needs of migrants, refugees to be a focus for pope in 2018 (CNS) Foreign trips, a focus on the rights and needs of migrants and refugees and a Synod of Bishops dedicated to young people all are on the 2018 calendar for Pope Francis. His activities and the passions that drive them are familiar by now. In fact, 13 March will mark the fifth anniversary of his election as pope, succeeding retired Pope Benedict XVI. Pope Francis, newly 81, will begin 2018 with a focus on Mary and on migrants and refugees...

Gunmen launch deadly attack on Coptic church (BBC) Twelve people have died in twin attacks on Coptic Christians in the Helwan area south of Cairo, officials say. Ten people died when gunmen tried to storm a church south of Cairo, but were intercepted by police. About an hour later, a Coptic-owned shop in the same area was attacked, leaving two dead. More than 100 Christians have been killed in Egypt in the past year — most attacks claimed by the local branch of the so-called Islamic State group...

First Mass in Mosul after 30 months (ByzCath.org) Candle lights, fragrant of incense and sounds of bells brought back to life in the Chaldean Church of St. Paul in Mosul (Almajmoua’ Althaqafyia suburb)...

Ukraine, pro-Russian forces trade prisoners to mark new year (Voice of America) Ukraine and pro-Russian separatist rebels had the largest exchange of prisoners on Wednesday since the start of the conflict in 2014. The exchange allowed hundreds of former prisoners to return home ahead of the New Year and Orthodox Christmas...

Syrian refugees in Lebanon drop below one million (The Jordan Times) The number of registered Syrian refugees in Lebanon has dropped to below one million for the first time since 2014, the United Nations told AFP. As of the end of November, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) counted 997,905 Syrian refugees — a vast majority of them women and children — registered in Lebanon...







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