28 April 2016
Young students from the Church of St. Rosalie in Hampton Bays, New York raised money to help displaced children in the Middle East, and last weekend they presented a generous check to CNEWA’s Christopher Kennedy. (photo: Carol Carey/Church of St. Rosalie)
A major part of my role at CNEWA is saying “Thank you” to all who make our work possible. While our donors come from all walks of life, it’s rare that I get a chance to thank people who are much younger than me — those whom Pope Francis has called “the strength that moves us forward.” This past Sunday, I had the chance to do just that, visiting the Church of St. Rosalie in Hampton Bays, New York.
Greeted by delightful spring weather — and a vibrant parish to match — I was there on behalf of CNEWA to accept a donation from the parish’s faith formation students. For the second year in a row, they had collected change in mite boxes for our work in the Middle East with displaced Christian children and others in need. Their small sacrifices had added up to a generous donation of $1,000 to CNEWA, in addition to gifts for their community food pantry.
I was welcomed by the church’s dynamic pastor, the Rev. Edward Sheridan, along with Marion Boden of the parish’s Committee of the Common Good, who arranged the mite box project with religion formation coordinator Eileen McPhelin. In his homily, directed to the young Sunday school students who sat on mats in front of the pews, Father Ed preached about the day’s Gospel, from John. He explained that, through simple means like donating our change, we are indeed loving one another as Jesus has loved us.
In my brief remarks after Communion, I shared the story of a young girl Msgr. Kozar had met on one of his visits to Iraq, who told him, “They have taken our homes, but they will never take our faith.” Through our faith, and love for each other, we are able to give that most precious gift of hope to those who need it most.
As always, if you’re interested in having CNEWA visit your parish and spread our mission of hope, please do not hesitate to contact Norma Intriago, Director of Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org.