Current Issue
September, 2019
Volume 45, Number 3
29 March 2018
Philip W. Eubanks

Children play in the St. Rachel Center, a church institution that primarily serves the community of migrant workers in and around Jerusalem. CNEWA supports a variety of programs such as this, designed to help children around the world. (photo: Ilene Perlman)

I grew up in Tennessee and I’d often hear people say, “Blood is thicker than water.” But as someone who had been adopted, I sort of took on the mantra that “Love is also thicker than blood.”

Perhaps because I was adopted, my sense of family was always as widened — almost as though “family” was those I learned to love and those who loved and nurtured me, especially my church family.

Recently, CNEWA spoke with a donor who shared that wide sense of family in his support for our work and mission. Malcolm Donalson, professor emeritus of the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science, had this to say about his own very personal experience with his family:

That CNEWA carries an outstanding credential, as a relief organization associated with the Holy Father, there can be no doubt. Certainly, to participate in CNEWA‘s programs for children in the Middle East is a blessing and can have long-lasting, positive consequences. In my own experience, assisting children in Ethiopia through CNEWA was an inspiration to take the further step and adopt children from overseas. When I lost one of my biological children in an auto accident, having considered adoption previously led to my active pursuit of an adoption from India. My acquaintance with other adoptive parents during the process easily lead to a second adoption, in this case, from China. Without question, the adoptions of my two daughters were some of the signal events of a lifetime. Now in their 20’s, they have been nothing but blessings to one another and to our family. I will forever be grateful to CNEWA for the opportunities it has afforded me, including the inspiration to adopt two of my children.

Our president, Msgr. John E. Kozar, often likes to refer to the work we do — whether that’s in the field overseas or here in the United States meeting with friends and supporters — as a matter of caring for our one “CNEWA family.” We’re grateful to consider Malcolm Donalson and his own as part of that big family.

If you’d like to support our children-in-need programs, and be a part of the CNEWA family, you can do so by visiting this link. Thank you!

Tags: Children

29 March 2018
Greg Kandra

The Rev. Baby Karintholil of St. Thomas the Apostle Seminary in India prays with a family during a home visit. (photo: Meenakshi Soman)

The new edition of ONE magazine includes a great glimpse at the formation of priests in India:

According to tradition, Christianity’s presence in India dates to the arrival of the Apostle Thomas in the first century in what is now Kerala. Today, in the hearts and minds of aspiring priests and many others throughout the state, visitors catch a glimpse of a church to come — one no less driven and hopeful than it was in those first days.

On a warm and humid February morning, a few men gather at St. Francis Theological College in Thellakom, a tiny village in Kerala. Seated in the library, the men — Brothers Abhilash Elamthuruthil, Nelson Verghese, Arun Elavumkal, Nishad Sebastian, Manoj Sebastian and Michael Thomas — discuss their call to serve the church as members of religious communities.

Brother Abhilash says he was inspired by reading a biography of St. Francis of Assisi while in secondary school.

“I then came in contact with Capuchin priests,” he says. “In our community, Capuchins have a good name because they lead a simple life. My parents were supportive about me joining them.”

Brother Nelson says his experience as an altar server in his parish in a village in northern Kerala helped him realize his calling.

“I believe I can work with people. That’s my charism. Capuchins aren’t limited to a parish. We work in the community, ready when required,” he says.

Read more. And check out the video below.

Tags: India Priests Indian Catholics Seminarians

29 March 2018
Greg Kandra

Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, washes the feet of a clergyman on Holy Thursday 29 March in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City. The ritual reflects the call to imitate Christ by serving one another. (photo: CNS/Corinna Kern, Reuters)

Easter in Jerusalem: No access for Gaza’s Christians (Al Jazeera) Israel has not issued permits for Gaza Palestinian Christians to travel to Jerusalem to celebrate Easter, church authorities have said. The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem said church authorities had applied for around 600 permits for Gaza Palestinian worshipers to travel, but had not received any…

Jews in Israel prepare for Passover (The Jerusalem Post) Jews in Israel on Thursday are making last-minute preparations for the Jewish holiday of Passover, due to begin Friday at sunset. In ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods of Jerusalem residents burn all remnants of leavened food they have in their house, before the start of the holiday…

Lebanon is drowning in its own waste (BBC) This beach has already been cleaned up 16 times, and had been cleaned less than a week before I stepped onto it with Joslin Kehdy, the founder of Recycle Lebanon, which arranges the cleanups. Plastic is turning up on beaches around the world, but the difference in Lebanon is that rubbish is also being directly dumped into the sea and coastal landfills — spelling disaster for the shoreline’s ecosystem and public health…

Thousands evacuate Eastern Ghouta in Syria (NPR) Let’s turn now to Syria and to the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta, where thousands of people are bidding goodbye to their homes and boarding buses to leave, maybe for good — a part of a deal with the government to end the rebel presence in the area…

Turkey’s churches publish landmark book of common Christian doctrine (Sight Magazine) A joint commission of Turkey’s major Christian denominations has published an historic book of concise Christian doctrine, receiving the unprecedented endorsement of all the nation’s Orthodox, Catholic, Armenian, Syriac and Protestant churches. According to Armenian Bishop Sahak Masalyan, keynote speaker at the formal book launch in Istanbul of the English edition on 3 February, the “most spectacular aspect” of the book is in fact its first page of endorsements, which he declared “akin to a miracle.” “[This book] expresses the shared beliefs of the churches in Turkey. We approve its publication and recommend that it be widely read,” the statement says…

Tags: Lebanon Gaza Strip/West Bank Jerusalem Holy Land Christians

28 March 2018
CNEWA staff

The March 2018 edition of ONE is now available online and is headed to your mailbox — just in time for Easter!

This edition focuses on formation, and there’s a rich collection of articles and images that help tell the story of how CNEWA is working to form faithful Christians in some of the most challenged and challenging parts of the world.

You will meet young Ethiopian sisters preparing to become leaders of their communities; you will hear from seminarians in India, describing their vocation journey; and you will be introduced to a a group of religious sisters in Jordan who are enriching the lives of the laity, many of whom are refugees.

Visit our digital edition to read more. And be sure to check out Msgr. Kozar’s preview below.

Tags: ONE magazine

28 March 2018
Greg Kandra

Sister Hanne Saad passes out sweets at an Iraqi youth group meeting in Jordan. Learn how the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary are Inspiring the Faithful in Jordan in the new edition of ONE.
(photo: Nader Daoud)

28 March 2018
Greg Kandra

The video above shows some of the damage of Eastern Ghouta in Syria. (video: YouTube)

Troops mass around rebel town in East Ghouta, Syria (BBC) Syrian government forces have massed around the last rebel-held town in the Eastern Ghouta area, after rebels were reportedly given a deadline to leave. A newspaper said troops were preparing for a “huge” operation in Douma, which is controlled by Jaysh al-Islam...

Syrian Christians feel like strangers in their own country (The Tablet) Poor living conditions, security problems and economic insecurity, have left Syrians &dlquo;feeling like strangers in their own country,” Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Selwanos Petros Al-Nemeh of Homs said this week...

Kerala closer to getting another saint ( The canonization process of Sister Mariyam Thressia, the founder of the Holy Family congregation of nuns in Kerala, is a step closer now. An expert team in Vatican has approved a miracle, the survival of a child born with acute respiratory failure, attributed to her intercession...

Israel approves plan to open new U.S. embassy in May (Haaretz) Acting at the request of Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, the National Planning and Building Council exempted the U.S. government from permitting requirements to enable the relocation of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May. That will allow work to proceed on a building in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood that now houses a U.S. consular section and will be repurposed as a temporary embassy...

Religious sisters in Indian slum work for human dignity ( The nuns of Devapriaya (beloveds of God) Sisters, a local congregation founded by former Bishop Gregory Karotemprel of Rajokot, aims to help poor women have a greater awareness of their rights and offers training and advice on how to earn an income...

27 March 2018
Greg Kandra

Shipla Joy helps with homework at the children’s home where she once lived, administered by the Sisters of the Sacred Heart in India. Check out the June 2017 edition of our magazine to learn more about adults who were nurtured in these homes and schools as children, and who now credit them for The Secret of Their Success. (photo: Don Duncan)

27 March 2018
Greg Kandra

Syrian refugees wait outside their shelters in late January at Zaatari camp near Mafraq, Jordan. The U.S. has a responsibility to help Jordan and stop the war in Syria, human rights advocate Kerry Kennedy said in meeting with Nobel laureates. (photo: CNS/Muhammad Hamed, Reuters)

Syrian refugees welcomed to Rome (Vatican News) “Welcome” and “Peace” were the words with which a group of children and adolescents and their families from the war-torn city of Homs in Syria were greeted on Tuesday morning as they arrived in Rome. They were also offered a Palm Sunday olive branch and an Italian language tuition book by members of the Sant’Egidio Community who met them at the airport...

Egyptians vote in presidential election (Vatican News) The incumbent President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi faces only nominal opposition as his only challenger Moussa Mostafa Moussa has been dubbed a ‘dummy candidate’ because of his known support for al-Sisi — it is an accusation he rejects. Although al-Sisi is almost certain to win, critics charge him with overseeing a huge austerity drive, suppression of dissent and cracking down on free media...

U.S., world urged to help Jordan aid refugees (CNS) The United States has a responsibility to help Jordan as it struggles to support hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and must actively seek to end Syria’s long civil war, American human rights advocate Kerry Kennedy told a conference on forced migration. “Stop the violence that creates the refugee crisis,” Kennedy said 24 March to an audience that included Nobel laureates, global leaders and children concerned about child trafficking, trauma and abuse stemming from the violence. “We have not done what we should to stop that violence and we can do that more all over the world...”

Cardinal Tagle to wash feet of migrants, refugees on Holy Thursday (Vatican News) Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila will wash the feet of migrants and refugees during this week’s Holy Thursday evening liturgy that commemorates Christ’s washing of the feet of His disciples. Cardinal Tagle, who is also President of Caritas Internationalis, the Church’s worldwide humanitarian confederation, recently released an Easter message urging men and women of goodwill worldwide to join the Caritas “Share the Journey” campaign that aims to reach out to migrants, tackle prejudice by changing perceptions and help people open their hearts and their minds...

26 March 2018
Greg Kandra

Students play during a break at the Abba Pascal Catholic Girls’ School in Soddo, Ethiopia. Learn why Catholic schools in the country are considered the Head of the Class in the June 2017 edition of ONE.
(photo: Petterik Wiggers)

26 March 2018
Greg Kandra

Christians carry palm branches on 25 March while walking the traditional path that Jesus took on his last entry into Jerusalem during the Palm Sunday Procession on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
(photo: CNS/Debbie Hill)

For Syrian refugees, unlawful marriages lead to statelessness in Lebanon (Voice of America) Marriage is a time of new beginnings. But for a growing number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, marriage has become a trap. Many of the Syrians have little money and are unfamiliar with Lebanese laws. They are often restricted in their ability to find someone to perform the marriage. So, growing numbers of refugees are getting married illegally...

‘Why we’re paying the rent for a million Syrian refugees’ (The Guardian) Turkey hosts more refugees than any other country, including 3.7 million Syrians. The EU-funded cash assistance program is designed to help a nation that is creaking under the strain. But Europe’s largest humanitarian aid effort to date did not come without strings attached...

Greece warns Turkey over aggression (Vatican News) Greece today stepped up its rhetoric against Turkish expansionist aims in the Aegean, with the defense minister saying any Turkish attempt to impinge on Greek national territory would be crushed...

Christians in Israel mark Palm Sunday (Breaking Israel Christians around the country began Holy Week leading up to Easter with traditional Palm Sunday processions and Church services in Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jerusalem and other Christian communities...

Palm Sunday observed across Kerala (New Indian Express) Palm Sunday was observed by Christians across Kerala to commemorate Jesus Christ’s entry into Jerusalem before he was arrested and crucified. Churches were crowded on Sunday and at many places traffic was stopped as devotees with fresh cut palm leaves in hands took to the streets to commemorate Christ’s entry into Jerusalem, when palm branches were placed in his path...

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