focus on the world of CNEWA
those committed to Jesus in the midst of war, suffering, poverty, oppression and even persecution and martyrdom. What a humbling experience for me during my many pastoral visits in the Middle East, when I see firsthand the courageous acts of love and mercy carried out by a dwindling family of Christians — those who are victimized, those who are hungry, those who suffer — for all, Christian or not. Their faith in our Lord is overpowering. Whatever we can do to assist them pales in comparison to their sacrifices. We are honored to accompany them. Do the good works of the church make a difference and bring us closer to peace in the Middle East?
Absolutely and positively. It does not matter how many Christians remain, because Christ is present in each one of them. They share Christ with all, including those of different faith traditions and even with the oppressor and the persecutor. You should feel very proud as a supporter in prayer and with your financial gifts to Catholic Near East Welfare Association. You help to keep the flame of faith alive in the Middle East — which ultimately helps to share Christ, who is the Prince of Peace, with all peoples of that part of the world. I remember one visit to that region, and meeting a woman who had become a Catholic and was marked for death by her family. She wanted to share this with me: “My God,
p Churches work to meet the needs of displaced families in Ain Kawa, near Erbil. u Good Shepherd Sisters serve refugees in Deir el Ahmar, Lebanon.
Jesus,” she said, “is a God of love and peace.” What a beautiful profession of faith. Yes, there can be peace, and there will be peace in the Middle East. May God bless you and may he bless all our family in the Middle East.
Msgr. John E. Kozar
The official publication of Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA)