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Current Issue
September, 2018
Volume 44, Number 3
  
17 October 2018
Greg Kandra




Palestinian Christians and members of the scouts gather outside the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in Bethlehem. Learn more about how they are Defining ’Christian’ in Palestine in the September 2018 edition of ONE. (photo: Samar Hazboun)



Tags: Palestine

16 October 2018
Greg Kandra




Children gather for a meal at the Mariam Tsion School in Saesa, Ethiopia. Discover how CNEWA carries out its mission of Remembering the Forgotten in the September 2018 edition of ONE magazine. (photo: John E. Kozar)



Tags: Ethiopia

15 October 2018
Greg Kandra




Chamsa Hadaya stands surrounded by family members. (photo: Armineh Johannes)

The new edition of ONE magazine features A Letter from Iraq, in which Chamsa Marzina Hadaya describes her family’s efforts to start over after fleeing ISIS and then returning home:

Right after we fled Qaraqosh, we used some of our savings and spent a few days in a cheap motel. We then rented a small apartment for a few months, but we ran out of funds as our stay lengthened from weeks to months to years. We had to quit the apartment and find another place provided by the church that was a prefabricated room in the camp of Ain Kawa — near the city of Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan. We stayed there for more than 15 months.

Life was unbearable during our stay in the camp. We had no income and we were completely dependent on charity for every single need. We experienced real destitution and we felt weak, humiliated and alone — strangers in a strange land. Nothing but our faith gave us real support: We felt God’s presence in our daily life, and this gave us hope and determination to hang on for a better life.

I cried. I prayed to God and asked him for his help to preserve our dignity — and God heard me! One of the organizations working in the same camp where I lived offered me a job in the kindergarten, and with this income I was able to help support my husband and family.

I have to admit that, spiritually, I have passed through some difficult times. I questioned God many times, wondering, “How is it possible that he has abandoned us?” But after all those moments of fear, I have finally surrendered my life and my fate to God.

My mother taught me how to live my faith, how to face crises and adapt to change. She taught me how to synchronize my hands and my mind to achieve my goals. Thanks to the image of my mother and her encouraging whispers that have accompanied and guided me in such difficult times, my hope in God has become so strong that now I live it in every single detail of my life. And now, again, I take this opportunity and this experience to pass it on to my children.

Read more in the September 2018 edition of ONE.



Tags: Iraq ISIS

12 October 2018
Greg Kandra




Syrian refugee children greet visitors in the refugee camp of Zahleh, Lebanon, in January 2016. (photo: John E. Kozar)

In the new edition of ONE magazine, arriving in mailboxes this week, CNEWA’s president Msgr. John E. Kozar offers some insight into our association’s mission:

When we communicate with our donors to express our thanks for their generous prayers and financial gifts, we often refer to the gratitude that ultimately comes from the “poor,” those who “suffer” and those who are “persecuted.”

These are broad categories and we might not appreciate the range of these beneficiaries of CNEWA’s good works and support. Let me elaborate a bit.

It is normal to focus on the material needs of the poor. We think of hungry and starving children; mothers desperate to feed or shelter their little ones; an elderly person without a place to call home; or victims of war, floods or other calamities forced to flee, always uncertain what tomorrow might bring.

We especially think of children who have been orphaned, those whose cries and hollow stares penetrate our hearts. We think of children who hunger for education and would give anything to be able to have a formal schooling environment. We think of the elderly, often those most easily forgotten or marginalized. Societies sometimes consider them expendable.

We think of those with special needs who find little or no acceptance in many cultures — those with physical and mental disabilities or social outcasts because of class structures. We think of those victims of religious bigotry or ethnic classification, or those “in the middle” and not accepted by either side. Social and economic exclusion is a reality for so many in our world.

We think of those who are really persecuted, even unto death. They are violated and taken away; they are sometimes killed, but always considered “second class.”

What I am describing is a canvas of the broken, fractured world in which CNEWA is privileged to serve. And in our humble way, with your most generous support and prayerful accompaniment, we do our best to serve those who are poor, those who suffer and those who are persecuted.

I am blessed with vivid memories from my many pastoral visits to those we serve. I’ve seen hungry children being fed and cared for at the hands of religious sisters and church-related programs in areas of conflict and oppression. I have seen the faces of desperate mothers who seek comfort for their ailing children — and find a loving and gentle hand extended by the church.

Check out more in our magazine. And watch the video below, in which Msgr. Kozar shares more of the ways in which CNEWA helps spread the joy of the Gospel to so many who are on the margins.



Tags: CNEWA Msgr. John E. Kozar

11 October 2018
Greg Kandra




Schoolgirls in Chandigarh, India, wear pink turbans on 11 October to mark International Day of the Girl Child. (photo: CNS/Ajay Verma, Reuters)



Tags: India

10 October 2018
Greg Kandra




Youth gather by the headquarters of Bethlehem's Terra Sancta Scouts. Learn more about Defining ’Christian’ in Palestine in the current edition of ONE, now available online. (photo: Samar Hazboun)



Tags: Palestine

9 October 2018
Greg Kandra




Anna Marie, Natalie and Nitsa, three of the seven children currently living at the St. Barbara Mother and Child Care Center in Georgia, have become fast friends. Learn more about how the church is Confronting Abuse of Women in Georgia in the September 2018 edition of ONE. (photo: Molly Corso)



Tags: Georgia

5 October 2018
Greg Kandra




Ethiopian Cardinal Berhaneyesus Souraphiel of Addis Ababa checks out the name badge of Nathanael Lamataki, a youth delegate from the French territory of New Caledonia in the South Pacific, as they leave a session of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment at the Vatican on 5 October. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring)



Tags: Ethiopia

4 October 2018
Greg Kandra




Byzantine Catholic Archbishop William C. Skurla of Pittsburgh, center, Ukrainian Catholic Bishop Bryan Bayda of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, right, and other prelates arrive for Pope Francis' celebration of the opening Mass of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment at the Vatican on 3 October. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring)



Tags: Byzantine Catholic Church Ukrainian Catholic Church

3 October 2018
Judith Sudilovsky, Catholic News Service




Diana Babish poses with a puppy outside her animal shelter in Beit Sahour, West Bank.
(photo: CNS/Debbie Hill)


God gives everyone a mission, Diana George Babish said as she fielded a phone call about a dog who had been shot in Hebron. The mission God gave her is to take care of the abused and abandoned animals in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, she said.

“God is pushing me to do this work. I believe it is something sacred,” said Babish, who uses an image of St. Francis surrounded by animals for her online profile.

Babish, a Catholic, admitted that it is not an easy mission in a place where, traditionally, society gives little importance to treating animals with compassion and routinely considers government-approved shooting and poisoning of stray animals as the best solution to population control.

“It is very difficult for me with the culture here; it is a very closed mentality,” she said. She spoke to Catholic News Service as she was trying to coordinate the injured dog’s transportation to her animal shelter in Beit Sahour, a village adjacent to Bethlehem.

“They continue to poison and shoot dogs because they don’t consider their lives to be of value.”

Her day began with the rescue of a 3-week-old puppy who was being kicked around like a ball by a group of schoolboys.

A few years ago, she traveled to Assisi, Italy, and she said she continues to draw strength for her work from the pilgrimage.

“Until now the pigeons still stay on his statue,” she said. “If God did not want anyone to take care of animals, he would not have given that mission to St. Francis.”

Last year Babish, who is in her late 40s, quit her day job as a bank manager to dedicate herself full time to running the first animal shelter in the West Bank, the Animal and Environment Association—Bethlehem Palestine, which she established in 2013.

In addition to $13,700 she received in donations, Babish used $20,000 of her own money to build the shelter. Currently it is run solely on donations and other forms of assistance, some of which also come from Israeli animal rescue organizations and individuals. Many of the dogs and cats she has rescued have been adopted or are being fostered by Israelis. By early October, she had rescued more than 400 dogs and more than 100 cats from the streets of West Bank cities. Recently she sent 15 dogs for adoption to Canada.

Babish has many critics within Palestinian society, including members of her own family, who complain that she is working with Israelis and spending her efforts on animals rather than people. Some charge her with profiting from the donations she receives, she said.

Still, Babish brushes off the insults and accusations thrown at her.

“If we had vets here in Palestine who had the proper equipment and treatments to care for the animals, or people who would adopt the dogs, I would leave them here. But Palestinians don’t want street dogs, most only want pure-bred dogs,” she said. “We in the rescue community put aside politics for the well-being of the animals. I tell (my critics) God gives each one of us our mission, and there are a lot of organizations taking care of people. My mission is to take care of the animals, the most vulnerable beings in the world.”

It was close to 9:30 p.m. and she had not yet eaten her dinner. She was working out the logistics of how to take three puppies and one adult dog to their foster homes in central Israel, then take other animals to a veterinary clinic to be treated and neutered. She also was preparing travel papers for a cat who was to be flown to her new home in Sweden.

Babish has 11 board members, 13 general members and two workers who help her in the day-to-day work at the shelter. Slowly she is making inroads into changing societal views about animals and rescue, she said.

The reality of life as a Palestinian is never far, though, and Babish must have an Israeli travel permit to go into Israel. She and a driver make rounds in Israel several times a week.

“A lot of (Palestinians) start to see that animals are very important. I am raising awareness through Facebook, fighting animal abuse,” she said. Some of her posts have received 14,000 views, she said. “Step-by-step I am creating more soldiers to fight for the sake of animals.”



Tags: Gaza Strip/West Bank Palestine Saints





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