Abu Dhabi opens second Catholic church

You may remember this item from a few days back. Now, it’s official:   A second catholic church in Abu Dhabi was inaugurated on Thursday evening in the presence of Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the UAE Minister for Culture, Youth and Community Development, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state and Bishop Paul Hinder, [Read More...]

New Brooklyn bishop-elect to offer Latin Mass for persecuted Christians

You may remember that Pope Francis last month named a devotee of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form, Rev. James Massa, as an auxiliary bishop to Brooklyn.  Fr. Massa has a special interest in issues affecting the people of the Middle East. He worked for the USCCB for several years as Executive Director of the United States [Read More...]

Iraq’s Sister Diana: “We need to gain back our humanity”

I got to meet the now-legendary Sister Diana Momeka this morning and wrote about it over at CNEWA’s blog:   The first thing that struck me about the veiled woman in white standing in our reception area was: “She’s so little.” The petite Dominican sister with the piercing eyes and dark hair didn’t look like someone [Read More...]

Muslims call on world to protect endangered treasures of Palmyra from ISIS

From my colleague Fr. Elias Mallon, over at the CNEWA blog One-to-One: Now that ISIS has gained control of Palmyra — and, some fear, could destroy many of the priceless artifacts in the ancient Syrian city — an important Muslim voice has been raised, calling on the world to protect and defend these treasures. Al [Read More...]

Syrian Catholic archdiocese confirms priest kidnapped; deacon also missing

Details from CNA:  The Syrian Catholic Archdiocese of Homs confirmed on Friday that a priest in the diocese has been kidnapped, and has asked for prayers for the priest’s safe release. According to Fides, the Homs archdiocese “asked all the faithful to invoke the Lord in prayer so that Father Jacques is released and can return [Read More...]

Iraqi Christians speak: “They wanted us to know they were believers”

I spent last evening at the Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, New York with some of my colleagues from CNEWA, hearing a first-hand account of life in Iraq, from someone who was jus there. It was a great evening:     When CNEWA’s president Msgr. John Kozar looked at those gathered around the room Wednesday, he [Read More...]

Words the world needs to hear

  They are the words of a 12-year-old Iraqi refugee named Tamara in Ankawa, Iraq, as reported by CNS, and they are beautiful: “ISIS took everything,” she said,  “but we still have our faith in Jesus Christ, and they will never take it.”   CNEWA President Msgr. John E. Kozar, meeting these extraordinary people while [Read More...]

Powerful and provocative: a “letter to ISIS” from the People of the Cross

From an online media group called Mighty.LA: As the world responds to the Islamic State with hatred and vengeance, there is one group that is responding differently. They are not allies with ISIS but enemies. And they have been slain by the thousands in the hands of ISIS. ISIS calls them The Nation of the [Read More...]

New Yorkers, take note: an upcoming event to raise awareness and support for persecuted Christians

Mark your calendar: Msgr. John E. Kozar, president of CNEWA (Catholic Near East Welfare Association) will be making a pastoral visit to Iraq and Egypt next month to see first-hand some of the challenges facing Christians fleeing persecution in that troubled part of the world. Just days after his return, Msgr. Kozar will share his insights [Read More...]

Journey to Jordan: the wrapup

A great young videographer named Connor Eberhart accompanied us on the trip. He was tireless and he was everywhere—photographing everything we did, every place we saw. (Did he ever sleep?  I’m not so sure…) Here, in roughly chronological order, are some of the videos he posted on his Vimeo site, which give a great sense [Read More...]