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Wherever he goes, he listens. He also brings hope. Upon his return to this country, he speaks eloquently about what he has heard. In late January 1985, he flew to Ethiopia to draw attention to the plight of the Ethiopian people who were victims of famine. In 1986, he visited the Grand Mufti of Lebanon, Sheik Hassan Khaled, with whom he shared the similarities rather than the differences between Christianity and Islam. (Tragically, the Sheik was assassinated this past spring in Beirut.) In December 1986, he met with King Hussein of Jordan, Shimon Peres, then Israeli Foreign Minister, and representatives of the Palestinian people in the occupied West Bank.

At home, he fosters awareness of the needs of those at the far corners of the world and encourages ecumenical and interfaith dialogue. Overseas, he is an ambassador of peace and sower of seeds of hope. Such vigorous leadership challenges everyone connected with Catholic Near East Welfare Association.

The “greater future” has begun.

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Rev. Gary Seibert, S.J. is editor of Catholic Near East magazine and the new publications coordinator of the Association.

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