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The CNEWA Connection

One in ten Egyptians is a Christian. The Coptic Orthodox and Catholic churches there are particularly active in their works for the common good of all, especially those most in need. CNEWA supports a number of these ministries in Egypt, helping to strengthen an ancient apostolic church in an ancient land. It is a land, however, that has increasingly become a target for extremists, who seek to destroy all those who disagree with them, Christian and Muslim. In addition to the Daughters of Charity, we support other congregations, including the Franciscan Sisters of the Cross, the Franciscan Fathers and the Sisters of Jesus and Mary, as well as the bishops of the Coptic Catholic and Orthodox churches. Beyond support for the formation of religious and priests, we support child care programs and schools, dispensaries and clinics, located in remote villages and towns of Upper Egypt as well as the dense urban centers of Alexandria and Cairo. Michel Constantin, who directs CNEWA’s programs in Egypt, notes: “It is through the religious institutions of the local church in Egypt that shelter, educate, enlighten and guide the poor and disadvantaged that Christianity is preserved.” To continue this great work of preservation in Egypt, call: 1-800-442-6392 (United States) or 1-866-322-4441 (Canada). convents, serving the community. The locals called the dispensary Saba Banat (“Seven Daughters”). As the charity work grew, the street itself came to be known by that same name. St. Vincent de Paul founded the Daughters of Charity in France in 1633 with the help of St. Louise de

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Marillac. Until that point, religious vocations among women often took the form of a contemplative life in relative seclusion; the founders of the Daughters of Charity, by contrast, encouraged the sisters to work outside their convent — to serve Christ in the persons of those poor or in need,

through material and spiritual works of mercy. Today, the congregation has a presence in 93 countries around the world. The first seven Daughters of Charity in Egypt in Alexandria were doctors and nurses, including specialists in ophthalmology. When the French Suez Canal Company was digging the canal in the middle of the 19th century, the sisters went to work in nearby hospitals to care for workers. After the completion of the canal, they continued to work in governmental hospitals in Port Said, Ismailia and many other facilities in Egypt. Currently, three sisters still work in one of the governmental hospitals in Port Said, maintaining the old tradition. Over time, the Alexandria sisters gradually expanded their services, even opening schools in the early 20th century. Their presence peaked in 1952, the same year that witnessed a revolution that overthrew the monarchy and the establishment of a republic. In 1959, the government seized the Saba Banat dispensary as part of a wider campaign of nationalization. In 1963, the dispensary was reopened in a building attached to the school in the At Attarin neighborhood. It kept its old name, despite moving from the old street. Nowadays, the Daughters of Charity have nine convents in Egypt, where some 50 sisters live and serve locals by running dispensaries, schools, food kitchens and programs teaching literacy and handicrafts to young girls in Upper Egypt. The Alexandria convent, located between the school and the dispensary, currently houses five sisters, each of whom have specific responsibilities and duties. While Sister Simone administers the convent and the dispensary, Sister Eman Fawzy manages the

Profile for ONE Magazine

ONE Magazine December 2017  

The official publication of Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA)

ONE Magazine December 2017  

The official publication of Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA)

Profile for cnewa