27 March 2015
Parishioners request a blessing after the celebration of the liturgy at a new church in Babogaya, an Ethiopian village. The story of how the church came to be can be found in “12 Years of Perseverance” in the September 2005 edition of ONE. (photo: Sean Sprague)
26 March 2015
Bishop Jacob Mar Barnabas Aerath, of the Eparchy of St. John Chrysostom of Gurgaon of the Syro-Malankara Church, is surrounded by new Catholics he baptized recently in Punjab. To learn more about Catholic outreach in northern India, read Msgr. Kozar’s account of a recent visit there in the Winter edition of ONE. (photo: CNEWA)
25 March 2015
Lunch is served in the traditional Indian manner at St. Antony’s English Medium School. To learn more about this school, read “Education as a Common Goal” in the September-October 2003 edition of the magazine. (photo: Sean Sprague)
24 March 2015
Hana Habshi adjusts the irrigation pipes in his apple orchard in Deir El Ahmar.
(photo: Laura Boushnak)
In 2012, we reported on ways CNEWA is helping bring water to parched corners of Lebanon:
“The presence of water gave us a means to stay here,” says 65-year-old Hana Habshi, a resident of the Maronite Catholic town of Deir El Ahmar. The once-bustling agricultural hub nestles on the slopes of the fertile Bekaa Valley, about 60 miles northeast of Beirut, where Mr. Habshi has lived and worked since the height of civil war in the 1980’s. But for the past decade, thanks to several irrigation projects, Mr. Habshi has returned to his hometown every summer to farm his family’s ancestral lands. “It helped us come back and live off the land again.”
Lebanon’s civil war — which ravaged the country from 1975 to 1990 — destroyed much of the nation’s infrastructure, including its irrigation systems, and sounded the death knell for the Bekaa Valley’s agricultural economy.
Without reliable sources of water, and subsequent erosion, farmers could no longer cultivate the land that formerly nourished lush fields and bountiful yields. Desperate for work, inhabitants moved to Lebanon’s major coastal cities, such as Beirut, Saida and Tripoli. Some left the country altogether. The few who remained scraped by as sustenance farmers, growing crops that require little water such as wheat, hay and, in some cases, hashish.
Deir El Ahmar, like most settlements in the area, remains but a shadow of its former self. Its many empty homes and crumbling public buildings remind locals and visitors of a more prosperous past. Though municipal authorities register some 10,000 residents, in reality half as many actually live there — and only then in the summer months. In winter, the town’s population plunges to little more than 3,000.
However, in the last ten years, Deir El Ahmar has been slowly but surely bucking the trend. Locals attribute this reversal to one thing — water. Since 1999, when the town installed its first irrigation system drawing on natural spring water, residents such as Mr. Habshi have been trickling back to town and reviving their parched properties and the Christian identity of the town.
“Before it was all just trees and shrubs, but look what happens when water comes,” says Mr. Habshi, pointing to the surrounding hillsides and valley below.
Learn more in “Springs of Hope in Lebanon” from the January 2012 edition of ONE.
23 March 2015
Traditional embroidery remains popular in some of Ukraine’s villages. (photo: Petro Didula)
In 2011, we reported on efforts of aging Ukrainians to preserve disappearing traditions in the country’s villages:
Though a widow living on her own, Mrs. Palykh–Tomkiv has three sisters living nearby, 61–year–old Daryna Palykh, 70–year–old Iryna Tomkiv and 80–year–old Olha Tomkiv. The sisters survive their parents as well as two brothers and a sister.
On the feast day of the Holy Protection of the Mother of God, the family gathers at Iryna’s home. “Glory to Jesus Christ,” she says, using the traditional greeting in the village to welcome visitors, who include several relatives from the area and two nieces from Lviv.
Iryna has earned a reputation in the region for her exceptional embroidery skills. Her elaborate needlework adorns almost every item in the house, including napkins, tablecloths, pillowcases, curtains, wall décor and icons.
“It is nothing compared to scores of her embroidery done primarily for the church, especially those seven embroidered liturgical vestments,” exclaims her younger sister, Daryna.
Read more about “What’s Next for Ukraine’s Villages” from the March 2011 edition of ONE.
20 March 2015
In this image from 2009, Greek Catholic seminarians gather for morning worship in the chapel of the seminary in Hajdudorog, Hungary. (photo: Tivdar Domaniczky)
The Vatican today announced a reorganization of the Hungarian Greek Catholic Church, elevating it to a Metropolitan Church “sui juris.”
Vatican Radio explains:
[Pope Francis] has elevated the Eparchy of Hajdédorog for the Catholics of Byzantine Rite to a Metropolitan See, with a seat at Debrecen, and has nominated Bishop Fülöp Kocsis, until now Eparchal Bishop of Hajdédorog, as first Metropolitan;
The Pope also elevated the Apostolic Exarchate of Miskolc for Catholics of Byzantine Rite to an Eparchy, establishing it as a suffragen of the Metropolitan See of Hajdédorog, and has nominated Bishop Atanéz Orosz, who has been serving as Apostolic Exarch of Miskolc, as first Eparchal Bishop; and,
Erected the Eparchy of Nyíregyhéza for Catholics of Byzantine Rite, with territory taken from the Eparchy of Hajdúdorog, establishing it as a suffragen of the Metropolitan See of Hajdúdorog. Pope Francis has named Bishop Atanáz Orosz Apostolic Administrator sede vacante, of the new Eparchy.
We’ve done a number of stories on this church, including a profile in 2009 which examined it rich history and modern challenges:
With the collapse of the Iron Curtain, Hungary’s Greek Catholic Church surged to fill the void left after a half-century of despotic rule in Central and Eastern Europe. Led by Bishop Szilárd Keresztes, the Eparchy of Hajdúdorog collected icons, liturgical books, vestments and other sacramentals, which he immediately offered to the once banned Greek Catholic churches in Romania and Ukraine.
Because of its central location, Bishop Keresztes suggested the eparchial seminary — which is dedicated to St. Athanasius — should play a key role in the revival of Europe’s Greek Catholic churches. In 1990, he opened it to Romanians, Rusyns, Slovaks and Ukrainians interested in the priesthood. To improve the quality of the education offered there, the bishop invited an impressive number of foreign educated professors.
As a result, the theological faculty became an affiliate of the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome in 1995.
Formation of lay catechists also figured prominently in the life of the church soon after the collapse of communism. In 1992, the bishop signed an agreement with the Teachers Training College in Nyíregyháza and set up a corresponding department at the seminary for the formation of teachers.
The Hungarian Greek Catholic Church shares in the socioeconomic challenges affecting the country. Even as birthrates continue to fall, driving down the number of men and women entering priesthood and religious, the demands placed upon the church grow.
To learn more, read our profile and check out “Our Town” and “To Be a Priest” from earlier editions of the magazine, which give more details about the life and faith of Hungarian Greek Catholics.
19 March 2015
In this image from 2005, Vincent Njarekaden and Father Titus Kattuparambil review an anti-drug poster in Kerala. The church has been working to help people in India battle alcohol and drug addiction. To learn how, read “One Day At a Time in Kerala,” from the July 2005 edition of ONE.
(photo: Cody Christopulos)
18 March 2015
A mother from Samalut, Egypt, helps her son with his homework. To learn more about the particular challenges facing women in Egypt, read “Spotlight: Coptic Women” from the September 2011 edition of ONE. (photo: Holly Pickett)
16 March 2015
Greek Catholic seminarians in Hungary prepare the altar for the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.
(photo: Tivadar Domaniczky)
In 2007, we paid a visit to seminarians in northeastern Hungary:
Today’s seminarians are concerned about deteriorating communities, indifference, commercialism and a lack of family and community values. “People are not open enough with each other,” said Gyözö Balogh. “Maybe because they don’t know each other’s values and traditions, they have this fear.”
Gyözö Balogh is one of two Romany (more commonly known as Gypsy) Greek Catholic seminarians and aspires to become the first Romany priest in Hungary. Even as a child, he knew he wanted to be a Greek Catholic priest. “It was strange though when I first talked about it,” he recalled.
Eventually, Gyözö’s family took him seriously and sent him to a Greek Catholic secondary school that opened in 1991.
“Now my friends accept it.”
Read more about what it takes “To Be a Priest” in the March 2007 edition of ONE.
13 March 2015
A young mother takes her child to church, a sign of a new generation taking root in the Armenian Catholic congregation at Sts. Peter and Paul in Tbilisi, Georgia. To learn more about Armenian Catholics in Georgia, read “A Firm Faith” in the Spring 2014 edition of ONE.
(photo: Molly Corso)