Current Issue
September, 2019
Volume 45, Number 3
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

24 July 2019
J.D. Conor Mauro

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop John Michael Miller and Bishop William Francis Murphy visit the shrine of St. Charbel in Annaya and on their 2018 pastoral visit to Lebanon. (photo: Michael La Civita)

Today marks the feast of St. Charbel, who “ranks among Lebanon’s most celebrated religious men.” As Marilyn Raschka continued in the July 2009 edition of ONE:

During his life, the hermit performed numerous miracles and inspired the lives of those who sought his counsel. Even after his death in 1898 at the age of 70, he has touched the lives of countless more. As did the legendary oil lamp that once illuminated his cell, Sharbel’s memory still burns today, inspiring pilgrimages, parish shrines, internet chat-room conversations and even a feature film.

Born Youssef Antoun Makhlouf on 8 May 1828, Sharbel grew up in a remote mountain village near the Cedars of Lebanon. He entered religious life at the age of 23, leaving his village home to serve Christ as a priest and monk in the Maronite Catholic tradition at the Monastery of St. Maron, in the village of Annaya, north of Beirut. He was given the name Sharbel, after a second-century Christian martyr, and lived at the monastery for 16 years before retreating to a nearby cell to live as a hermit in ceaseless prayer, which he did for the remaining years of his life. He died quietly on Christmas Eve 1898 and was buried near the monastery.

While Sharbel never traveled much further than a couple days’ journey from his boyhood home, stories of his miraculous works during and after his life have spread throughout the world. He is said to have cured a madman by reading from the Gospel and to have protected crops from locusts by sprinkling them with water that he had blessed. In the last century, pilgrims to the saint’s tomb have attributed numerous miracles, two of which were made public before Sharbel’s beatification in December 1965 and a third before his canonization in October 1977.

Read the rest here.

Tags: Lebanon Saints Maronite Hermit

17 July 2019
J.D. Conor Mauro

Martina Isaac stands in front of her home in the Zabbaleen quarter of Manshiyat Naser, Cairo. For more about the life of this Coptic enclave, and the sisters who serve their community, read Reclaiming Lives, from the July 2019 edition of ONE. (photo: Hanaa Habib)

Tags: Egypt Sisters Copts Catholic education Coptic

17 July 2019
J.D. Conor Mauro

Syriac Catholic Rev. Youssef Sakat reads documents of an Iraqi family seeking help from inside the chapel at the Holy Family Syriac Catholic center in Beirut on 8 July 2019. (photo: CNS/Dalia Khamissy)

When Islamic State came, the monks had just finished hiding the manuscripts (Catholic Herald) Already, the four monks at the ancient Syriac Catholic Mar Behnam Monastery in Khidr, Iraq, had felt they were under siege. Ten days earlier, on June 10, 2014, five carloads of militants roared through the peaceful road leading to Mar Behnam, announcing through megaphones that the Islamic State was in control. Not long before that, the Iraqi army had withdrawn from a checkpoint near the monastery, located southeast of Mosul. All the while, Father Youssef Sakat was deeply concerned about how to safeguard the monastery’s extensive collection of religious manuscripts from inevitable destruction by the militants. The 630 manuscripts, dating from the 12th to 18th centuries, were written in a range of languages, including Syriac, Greek, French and Latin…

Archbishop of Basra: The pope’s visit, an opportunity for rebirth for Christians and Iraq (AsiaNews) Pope Francis’ visit to Iraq, scheduled for next year, represents a world stage for the Baghdad government to show itself close to Christians and active in defending the freedoms and rights of the entire population. “[I]t is necessary to prevent the formation of a second class citizenship, especially for Christians and other minorities that are affected and relegated to the margins by the Constitution and a sectarian culture,” says the Chaldean Archbishop Alnaufali Habib Jajou of Basra, according to whom the nation “is in pieces” because of a “widespread and visible corruption”…

Turkish diplomat shot dead in Iraqi city, officials say (The Guardian) Gunmen have killed at least one Turkish diplomat in Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, in an attack on consulate staff gathered in a restaurant, Turkey’s foreign ministry said. The state-run Iraqi news agency identified the dead man as the deputy consul general, the Associated Press reported…

Can Israel’s courts deliver justice for Palestinians? (Al Jazeera) The demolition of Palestinian-owned buildings by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem is a routine occurrence. But in Sur Baher, a neighbourhood southeast of Jerusalem, an unprecedented mass demolition is looming — with the approval of Israel’s top court…

Tags: Iraq Palestine Turkey

10 July 2019
J.D. Conor Mauro

Children attend English class 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 Children Education Catholic education

10 July 2019
J.D. Conor Mauro

An Israeli settler stands beside fences surrounding an Israeli settlement located on the roof in the Arab section of the Old City of Jerusalem on 26 March. (photo: CNS/Debbie Hill)

Israeli settlers take over east Jerusalem home after court battle (Al Monitor) A Palestinian family was evicted from a home in east Jerusalem near the Old City on Wednesday after Israeli settlers won a court battle that stretched more than two decades, activists said. The apartment in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan was home to a 53-year-old woman and her four children, according to Israeli NGO Peace Now, which opposes Israeli settlement expansion…

Britain is hoarding a treasure no one is allowed to see (The Atlantic) In a storeroom of the British Museum here sits a collection of 11 wood and stone tablets that nobody is allowed to see. They are Christian plaques, or tabots, that represent the Ark of the Covenant, and they belong — though belong in this case is a contested term — to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which believes only its priests should view them. The tabots were seized, along with hundreds of other precious items — processional crosses, gold and silver jewelry, illustrated manuscripts — by the British army in 1868, after it defeated Ethiopian Emperor Tewodros II at the battle of Maqdala. There is hardly a clearer case of officially sanctioned plunder: When Tewodros committed suicide, soldiers ransacked his treasury, then auctioned off their finds among their entourage to pay for the expedition…

Chennai city battles long drought (UCAN India) Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu state with a population of nine million, is in the grip of a drought and resulting water crisis. Public water taps are now dry. Most of the city’s middle class and poor wait each day in long queues for tankers to arrive so that they can fill a few plastic buckets with barely enough water for drinking let alone cooking and bathing.

New institutes of Coptic studies founded in Egyptian public universities (Fides) In an unprecedented initiative, Egyptian political institutions have decided to invest resources to support the opening of institutes, centers and departments in public universities dedicated to the study and enhancement of the Coptic language and cultural heritage. The first institute of Coptic Studies was already inaugurated at the University of Alexandria, in collaboration with the Coptic Orthodox Church…

Tags: India Palestine Ethiopian Orthodox Church Coptic Christians Drought

8 July 2019
J.D. Conor Mauro

Pope Francis greets a woman and child during a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on 8 July 2019, commemorating the sixth anniversary of his visit to the southern Mediterranean island of Lampedusa. (photo: CNS/Vatican Media)

On Lampedusa anniversary, pope prays for suffering migrants (Crux) At a time when the immigration issue is becoming more contentious across the globe — especially in Europe — Pope Francis offered a Mass on Monday commemorating his visit to Lampedusa six years ago, praying for all migrants who have either died or been abused along their route…

Migrant-rescuing sea captain discusses challenges (Der Spiegel) Carola Rackete saved 53 migrants adrift at sea. In an interview, she discusses the hardships on board, her arrest in Italy and the failure of European immigration policy…

Project helps young Christians in the Gaza Strip find jobs (Fides) Nine months ago, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, in cooperation of the Holy Family Parish, launched a job-creation and capacity-building program in the Gaza Strip. Today, the 20 Christian youth benefiting from the program are reaping the fruits of their work and seeing new career prospects from this project…

Jobs don’t come easy for India’s poor Christians (UCAN India) Among all religious groupings, Christian males have the highest unemployment rates in India, according to the Periodic Labor Force Survey 2017-18…

127 churches in Egypt receive legal status (Christian Today) Egypt has authorized the legalization of 127 congregations that were previously operating without a government permit in the latest wave of church approvals…

Tags: India Egypt Gaza Strip/West Bank Migrants Employment

21 June 2019
J.D. Conor Mauro

An Israeli border policeman stands guard near Ramallah, West Bank, on 17 May 2019, as Palestinians make their way to attend Friday prayer at Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City. (photo: CNS/Raneen Sawafta, Reuters)

Jerusalem’s Old City: How Palestine’s past is being slowly erased (Middle East Eye) The Old City has huge historic, economic, religious and now national symbolism for both Palestinians and Israelis, particularly because of the Al-Aqsa compound, known as Haram al-Sharif to Muslims and Temple Mount to Jews. This is the most explosive issue in an already incendiary conflict…

Iraqi envoy to Vatican urges international help for Christians to return home (Crux) Speaking outside the program at an event in Rome on migration, the newly arrived ambassador from Iraq to the Vatican said Wednesday that the country’s Christian community is at risk after violence perpetrated by ISIS, but people who fled now want to go back…

Tags: Iraq Jerusalem Palestine Iraqi Christians

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