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From this point forward, the role and proper activities of CNEWA were clear. The renewed satisfaction of the Holy See was communicated to the archbishop of New York as president of CNEWA, and the funds obtained from the Mission Sunday collection or procured directly by CNEWA itself, such as Mass stipends, educational burses, designated gifts and other special contributions, were regularly forwarded to the Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Church or to other institutions as requested by the Holy Father or by the congregation.

CNEWA continued to operate under its Pennsylvania civil charter until 14 December 1942, when it was reincorporated according to the laws of the State of New York.

This reorganization of CNEWA and clarification of its mission still underlies the structure of CNEWA today.

Later Development of CNEWA

In support of the Eastern Catholic churches

Following the intervention of the Oriental Congregation in 1931 and the clarification of the nature and mission of CNEWA, the organization began to concentrate its efforts on supporting the Eastern Catholic churches and the persons and institutions under the jurisdiction of the Oriental Congregation.

Initially, the staff of the congregation was intimately involved in the work of CNEWA. An “Ufficio CNEWA” was created within the congregation to coordinate the transmission of requests for funding and the disbursement of funds to and from CNEWA’s administrative center in New York City. The names of each donor to the work of CNEWA and the amounts of their contributions were sent to the Oriental Congregation, and the prefect of the congregation himself would send a letter of acknowledgment and thanks to each.

As the years passed, since CNEWA was heavily involved in supporting institutions, especially the seminaries, novitiates and orphanages of the Eastern Catholic churches, a sponsorship program was devised, with great success, to interest individuals in their support and to raise money for them. This, of course, tremendously increased the amount of correspondence and record keeping. The Oriental Congregation decided to leave the acknowledgment of donor gifts to CNEWA’s general secretary in New York, while the disbursement of funds in support of institutions and projects continued to be made by the congregation itself.

Emergency relief and social development

On 18 June 1949, out of his concern for the plight of Palestinian refugees in the aftermath of the Israeli-Arab struggle of the previous year, Pope Pius XII decided that the work of humanitarian and charitable assistance of the Holy See for Palestine and all those afflicted by war there was to be consolidated and formalized by the establishment of a special “Pontifical Mission for Palestine.” Its direction was entrusted to the secretary of CNEWA, and it was mandated to conduct its activities in Palestine and in the neighboring countries of the Middle East so as to make available to every exiled or needy Palestinian the charity of the pope and of all Catholics of the world.



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