Tim Conway, Catholic

The comedy legend has a new book out, and Tony Rossi has a preview: During his high school years, Tim was playing in a football game when he got hit full force in the center of his back. He writes in his book that he lay on the ground for quite some time, unable to talk or [Read More...]

“Mend a Quarrel:” A Message of Mercy We Need to Hear

Over at the CNEWA blog, (where I toil as part of my day job) there’s a heartfelt remembrance of a Mercy Sister, Christian Molidor, who worked for the agency for many years.  She died yesterday after a long illness. The piece quotes Sister Christian’s final e-mail, sent to her friends when she retired a couple [Read More...]

“My Heroes Were Visiting Missionaries…”

That’s how Msgr. John E. Kozar, president of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) —and, not insignificantly, my boss—describes the first stirrings of his own vocation in this comprehensive interview with Fr. Thomas Rosica of Salt + Light TV in Canada. Msgr. Kozar is featured in the picture above, top center, sharing a joyful moment [Read More...]

Was I shaking the hand of the next pope?

Hey, you never know. I wrote about it here.    With all the O’Malley buzz being generated, Elizabeth Scalia has a great take on Pope Sean…or maybe, Pope Patrick:  For those of us who claim a connection to the auld sod, that would be a pondering just too Irish-delightful for words: In the Year of [Read More...]

Preserving Catholicism’s diversity: “We’re not talking about nostalgia”

Here are a couple glimpses at the work being done by the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (also known as The Place That Pays the Deacon’s Mortgage). Recently, my boss Msgr. John Kozar visited Rome for a series of conferences and meetings, and the good people at Rome Reports dropped by to chat with him [Read More...]

Behold, the Orthodox deacons of Ethiopia

Do you have vestments like these? Over at our CNEWA blog, ONE-TO-ONE, there’s an interesting look at the clergy in that part of the world: Traditionally, a priest’s primary duty is the celebration of the Qeddase — in Ethiopia, typically five priests concelebrate — and other liturgical rites, particularly burials. Liturgical festivals feature rhythmic dancing, [Read More...]

An encounter with St. Nick

My colleague Michael La Civita posted this remembrance of a poignant trip to Italy over at CNEWA’s blog, ONE-TO-ONE:  In May 1997, I traveled to Puglia, Italy, to visit my father’s family. While there, I visited Bari, home to the Wonder Worker, good ole St. Nick. Here’s how I concluded an article on that visit, which [Read More...]

“Pentecost is alive!”

Every now and then, when folks hear where I work, they go…”Huh?” We like to say that  Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) is one of the best-kept secrets of the Catholic Church. Well, to try and spread the word, this year we’ve produced our first-ever online multimedia Annual Report, packed with information, photos and [Read More...]

50 years after Vatican II, “radically changed relations” between Catholics and other religions

In the current issue of ONE magazine, I chat with Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, Apostolic Nuncio to Egypt, about the 50th anniversary of Vatican II and, in particular, Catholic relations with Islam. A snip: ONE: One of the most significant documents the council produced remains “Nostra Aetate,” which addressed the Catholic Church’s relations with non-Christian religions. How [Read More...]

Is there room for Christians in the Middle East?

My colleague at CNEWA, Michael J.L. La Civita looked at that question in a speech this weekend: Is there a future for Christians — indeed for any minority — in this new Middle East? What role will religion play, especially Islam, in governing these peoples? And, is Islam compatible with the so-called democratic aspirations expressed [Read More...]


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