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Iraq’s Tragedy

image (photo: Cody Christopulos) 

10 Jun 2008 – “We’re not refugees. We’re here for a while and we’re going back to build our country,” said Sister Diana, an Iraqi Dominican Sister of St. Catherine of Siena now living and working in Michigan. “Our country is suffering and our main concern is how to help [it] come to a new birth.”

A native of a small Christian town in northern Iraq, Sister Diana shared her experiences with CNEWA staff members and members of the press in New York on 19 May. As a first-hand witness to tremendous violence, destruction and human suffering, she expressed her deep concern not only for the future of Iraq’s Christians, but all Iraqis.

“The future of our children is in danger,” she said. “It’s kind of a tragedy when kids grow up seeing car bombs and bodies in the street. This is not normal. It’s like a fiction movie.”

The Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena are drawn from many of Iraq’s churches, Catholic and Orthodox. The sisters administer catechetical programs in many of Iraq’s parishes, staff an orphanage and kindergarten in Mosul, direct Al Hayat Maternity Hospital in Baghdad and, in partnership with the Pontifical Mission, CNEWA’s operating agency in the Middle East, staff a pre- and neonatal clinic for refugees in Zerqa, Jordan.