Mike Aquilina

You Can Do Something About It

Saturday October 07th 2006, 3:05 am

OK, so I’ve been a real Puddleglum lately whenever I post on the Christian minorities in the Middle East. Here’s some good news, and something good you can do to help those who suffer from persecution, marginalization, poverty, and the crossfire of wars. Check out the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA). A papal agency for pastoral and humanitarian support, CNEWA has for eighty years served people in need in the Middle East, Northeast Africa, India, and Eastern Europe. Founded in 1926 by Pope Pius XI, CNEWA’s mandate is to support the mission and institutions of the Eastern Catholic churches; to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need, without regard to nationality or creed; to promote Christian unity and interreligious understanding and collaboration; and to educate people in the West about the history, cultures, peoples, and churches of the East. CNEWA works especially hard to promote unity of Catholic and Orthodox Christians.

Fans of the Fathers will be especially impressed with CNEWA’s magazine, One. You get it free if you give. But you can sample it online, as the editors post all content. The current issue includes a profile of the Armenian Apostolic Church, tracing its origins back to St. Gregory the Wonderworker, the student of Origen. Another great feature in this issue tells how 21st-Century Scribes Use State-of-the-Art Equipment to Preserve Ancient Manuscripts. Very cool.

The online archives go back to the magazine’s beginnings in 1974. Wayback highlights for me were:

St. Gregory Nazianzen (1979).

St. Anthony of Egypt (1974).

St. Ephrem the Syrian (1974).

St. Simeon Stylites (1976).

Forty Martyrs of Sebaste (1983).

And I didn’t even browse much of the archive!

Go! Read! And give! We don’t have to watch helplessly as our brothers and sisters suffer in lands far away. We can do a little bit to help, while we read about the Fathers.