Current Issue
September, 2019
Volume 45, Number 3
31 July 2019
Anubha George

The exclusive video above shows some of the remarkable work being done at the St. Clare Oral School for the Deaf in India. (video: CNEWA)

In the current edition of ONE, Anubha George writes about how children with hearing impairments are getting A Sound Education at a school in Kerala. But, as she writes below, sometimes it isn’t just the students who leave the school having learned a thing or two.

The visit to St. Clare Oral School for the Deaf in the southern Indian state of Kerala brought back memories. It was four years ago. A niece of mine was born premature, at 34 weeks. The neonatologist suggested tests pretty much every week, for her eyes and her hearing. Premature babies are more at risk of auditory problems.

Thankfully, there was no problem with her hearing. My visit to St. Clare reminded me of that time. Yet, it also taught me many things that I’m embarrassed to confess — things I had been judgemental about before. We felt relieved when my niece passed that audiometry test because we saw hearing impairment as a disability that would stop her from leading a “normal” life. But I met children at this school who lead fulfilling and happy lives. Some were partially hearing impaired, some fully. But there wasn’t a hint of self pity or a sense that something was lacking in their lives.

I often hear people describe a child with hearing impairment as “deaf and dumb.” Sister Abhaya, the principal in charge at the school, told me that was incorrect on so many levels. She gave me an example. I’m an Indian. Let’s say I go to Germany for a visit. I know not a word of German. If I’m in a group where everybody is speaking German, I wouldn’t be able to understand a thing or contribute to the conversation. I would be “dumb.” Any one of us can be “dumb” in certain circumstances. But these children have their own language to communicate — one I don’t know, sign language.

I’ve made a promise to myself: I’ll never again use the word “dumb.”

I also came to realize — to my embarassment — that some things I disparage can change lives.

I’m not a fan of smart phones, for the way they can sometimes take over everything we do. But at St. Clare Oral School for the Deaf, I found that smart phones are crucial. They offer the students a lifeline. When the students use video to make a call, they can see people — they can read lips and communicate. On a video call, they can chat and share with their friends in sign language; they can see faces and read emotions.

My visit to the school was a revelation — and helped me discover that sometimes a school offers lessons not only to those in its classrooms, but to visitors from outside, as well.

Read more about the St. Clare Oral School for the Deaf in the July 2019 edition of ONE.

Tags: Kerala

31 July 2019
Greg Kandra

Students participate enthusiastically at the Rosary Sisters School, where Sister Nabila Saleh is principal. Read her account of life as a teacher in A Letter from Gaza in the July 2019 edition of ONE. (photo: Ali Hassan)

Tags: Gaza Strip/West Bank

31 July 2019
Greg Kandra

Migrants are seen after being rescued by the Libyan coast guard, in Tripoli, Libya, on 26 July 2019. At least 115 migrants were believed dead after their wooden boat headed for Europe capsized near the north African coast of Libya on 25 July. Pope Francis in his Angelus message Sunday appealed for the international community to "act quickly" to prevent future tragedies.
(photo: CNS/Ismail Zitouny, Reuters)

Pope calls for action to prevent migrant deaths (CNS) Days after rescue workers recovered the bodies of dozens of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea, Pope Francis urged the international community to “act quickly” to prevent future tragedies. ”I have learned with sorrow the news of the dramatic shipwreck that happened in recent days in the Mediterranean waters where dozens of migrants including women and children have lost their lives,” he said after praying the Angelus with visitors in St. Peter’s Square…

Catholic group helps India quake victims rebuild ( The Catholic social service group of Rajkot Diocese, Kutch Jyoti Trust Bhuj, offered loans for people wishing to start income-generating projects. Ben took a loan of 12,000 rupees (then US$200) and purchased tools required for her husband to resume his carpentry work in 2003, two years after the quake. Soon the couple started a furniture shop in the village, repaid the loan within two years and got a subsidy of 3,000 rupees…

UN demands inquiry after Syria hospitals bombed (Al Jazeera) As the Syrian government continues to attack Idlib in the country’s northwest, 10 United Nations Security Council members have called on the UN chief to set up an inquiry into why its hospitals have been singled out. They’ve asked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to take action as the UNSC meets for the seventh time to discuss the growing number of people killed in Idlib…

Ethiopia plants more than 350 million trees in 12 hours (CNN) Ethiopia planted more than 353 million trees in 12 hours on Monday, which officials believe is a world record. The burst of tree planting was part of a wider reforestation campaign named “Green Legacy,” spearheaded by the country’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Millions of Ethiopians across the country were invited to take part in the challenge and within the first six hours, Ahmed tweeted that around 150 million trees had been planted…

New entrance could transform Jerusalem skyline (Jewish Press) An ambitious plan for the new entrance to Jerusalem is underway, which will forever change the main entrance to the capital city of Israel. The new complex, expected to be completed by 2022, will feature 24 towers, spanning between 24 and 40 flights tall. The towers will include approximately 1.5 million square meters of space that will be used for office space, hotels, housing units, and commerce…

Tags: India Pope Francis Ethiopia Jerusalem Migrants

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

26 July 2019
Greg Kandra

Nanditha Shibu chats with Sister Phincitta at the St. Clare Oral School for the Deaf in Kerala. Learn more about the school and how it offers A Sound Education in the July 2019 edition of ONE.
(photo: Sajeendran V.S.)

Tags: Kerala

26 July 2019
Greg Kandra

In this image from 2018, a car in Mosul, Iraq, drives past "I love Mosul" graffiti. At the UN this week, the Holy See urged tolerance, dialogue and acceptance among different peoples living together in the Middle East. (photo: CNS/Ari Jalal, Reuters)

Holy See urges tolerance in Middle East (Vatican News) The Holy See is urging the Middle East to make more efforts in promoting a “dialogue for a culture of tolerance, acceptance of others and of living together peacefully.” “This is a critical moment in which all countries of the region must not squander peaceful advances by falling back into hostilities sparked by the simmering conflicts of the regional powers,” said Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Holy See’s Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer to the United Nations in New York, on Tuesday…

Syrian refugees panic as threat of deportation rises in Lebanon (Al Jazeera) Lebanese security forces are increasingly carrying out raids at businesses and refugee camps, according to reports, renewing concerns that Syrian refugees are at risk of being unfairly deported and mistreated. Growing reports of raids over the past few weeks follow a Lebanese government drive against undocumented foreign labor, a move Syrians feared was aimed at earmarking them…

UN: More than 100 killed in Syria air raids (Al Jazeera) Air raids by the Syrian government and its allies in the country’s last rebel-held enclave have killed more than 100 civilians in the past 10 days, according to the United Nations, which said the three-month campaign has displaced more than 400,000 people. The 103 dead from the recent air attacks on schools, hospitals, markets and bakeries included at least 26 children, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said on Friday, adding that the rising toll had been met with “apparent international indifference…”

Orthodox cathedral reportedly vandalized (Religious Information Service of Ukraine) After the court decision on the transfer to the use of the Russian Ministry of Property of the Crimea, the property of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Cathedral of the Holy and Equal-to-the Apostles Volodymyr and Olha in Simferopol was “looted and destroyed,” Archbishop Klyment of the Crimean Diocese of the OCU told Krym.Realii…

India’s ruling party reaches out to Christians ( India’s politically dominant pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has launched a bid in the north-eastern state of Mizoram to improve its image among members of the Christian majority there. Mizoram has the highest concentration of tribal people of any Indian state and Christians form 87 percent of its 1.1 million people…

Ukraine says it has seized a Russian tanker (Vatican News) Ukraine says it has seized a Russian tanker in a Black Sea port prompting an angry response from Moscow. The move comes just months after Russia attacked Ukrainian vessels amid an ongoing conflict between the two neighbors…

Tags: Syria India Ukraine United Nations

25 July 2019
Greg Kandra

A local catechist visits an Adivasi village in rural India. (photo: John E. Kozar/CNEWA)

In the July 2019 edition of ONE, Msgr. John E. Kozar looks at the idea of vocations — and how this idea really applies to all of us:

More than ever, each baptized Catholic is called to give public witness and service by assuming a greater responsibility in the abiding need for personal sanctification and the evangelization of others.

Although the response to Vatican II may have been slower in some countries, due to remote conditions and cultural limitations, the need to more fully integrate all members of the church in the continuing challenge to evangelize is as strong as ever. And CNEWA is committed in our role of accompaniment to support a variety of programs that invite more and more of the laity to be trained and available for service within the local church and to continue in the education and formation of men and women in religious life. That includes everything from teaching and preaching to simply witnessing the Gospel with lives of generosity and love.

In CNEWA’s world, there are some overriding challenges: Men and women religious who originally came from Europe are not as present; some areas are so remote that they have never been visited by a Christian; and many areas which came to know of Jesus a long time ago were not properly evangelized and thus their faith has diminished greatly.

Thus, much emphasis is placed on preparing catechists and supporting them, sometimes going to tribal areas which have never heard the name of Jesus or to areas where the faith needs to be reintroduced. CNEWA proudly offers support in this entire process of evangelization and religious education.

Read more in the current edition of ONE. And check out the video below for more of Msgr. Kozar’s thoughts on this important subject.

Tags: Evangelization

25 July 2019
Greg Kandra

Refugees at a large camp in Syria complain of endless illness, dirty water and hot tents.
(video: AFP/YouTube)

Residents of Syria refugee camp face disease, dirty water (AFP) Kurdish-led forces expelled the last Islamic State group fighters from the riverside hamlet in March, after streams of people poured out of the jihadists’ embattled holdout. Months later, they are among the 70,000 people — mostly women and children — packed into the camp, where residents depend on aid and complain of endless illness, dirty water and boiling hot tents…

Ethiopian crisis triggers new displacement (Reuters) Ethiopia’s latest displacement is in the southern regional town of Yirgalem, a town that was hit by deadly unrest related to the autonomy push by the Sidama people. The BBC quotes an official who said over 450 people were sheltering in a church having fled their homes for fear of attacks. Sidama is located in Ethiopia’s multi-ethnic Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ region, SNNPR. The displaced are said to have fled into a district in the neighbouring Oromio Regional State…

Iraq unearths mass graves (VOA) Four mass graves with dozens of bodies believed to be Kurds killed by the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s forces were found in the desert of al-Muthanna province in southern Iraq. Early exhumation of the mass graves about 80 kilometers southwest of al-Samawah city has found bodies of 70 people, said Jabar Omar, the chief of Kurdistan Region’s Office of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs in Garmyan, who also oversees the unearthing process. The people, consisting mostly of women and children, are believed to have been killed between 1987-1988, during the Iraqi former regime’s “Anfal campaign” against the Kurds…

Muslims, Christians criticize Indian minister’s comments on ’fake’ lynchings ( Leaders of India’s religious minorities have been shocked by a government minister’s claim that most reports of cow-related lynchings were fabricated. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the minister for Minority Affairs, said in an interview published online 21 July that the majority of mob lynchings were “concocted and fake.” Christian and Muslim leaders, as well as rights activists, say he was in truth defending his government’s pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is accused of tacitly approving Hindu violence in the name of protecting the animal revered by orthodox members of their religion...

Archeologists confirm tale of crusaders’ siege of Jerusalem (Ars Technica) Recent excavations south of Jerusalem unearthed a ditch used to defend against siege towers, along with a ruined house Crusaders may have used as cover during a battle. The finds confirm some oft-questioned details of historical accounts of the First Crusade, including how a ditch along the city’s southern wall thwarted the attacking siege engines. And this new evidence provides tangible links to events recorded 920 years ago…

Tags: Syria India Ethiopia Jerusalem

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