CNEWA FROM THE EDITORS
People, Look East
his year, as we commemorate the 90th anniversary of Catholic Near East Welfare Association, we are reminded again and again of the word that is literally our middle name: East. Pope Pius XI founded Catholic Near East Welfare Association in 1926 to support the people served by the Eastern churches, especially the Catholic Eastern churches. Month after month, year after year, we have worked side by side with the dedicated laity, priests and religious men and women of these churches. Through a common faith, we have experienced the rich diversity of culture, liturgy and language that makes up our Christian heritage — and we have shared the sufferings and setbacks, the trials and the tears that are so much a part of life in the lands we are privileged to serve.
This journey has been a story of perseverance and purpose, one that has left us humbled and enriched. It is the story of sisters caring for the victims of war; of seminarians preparing to serve the people of God; of faithful from all walks of life reaching out to the poorest of the poor, and seeing in one another God’s abundant grace at work. To experience this again and again is to realize there is a larger story unfolding in these churches: It is the story of Easter. It is a story of resurrection and of hope. And it is, of course, as with the Gospel itself, a love story.
In the pages that follow, you will meet some of the men and women who are living this story every day, and doing it with enthusiasm, fervor and zeal. We focus on what we consider the five families of the Eastern churches — No commemoration of our nine decades Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, of service to these faith communities, Visit CNEWA’s series Jerusalem and Armenia — rooted in the which include our sister Orthodox on the Eastern ancient lands where the apostles first churches, would be complete without churches at planted the Gospel. The one church’s honoring them. And in this edition of easternchurches.org. “family tree” is complex and elaborate, ONE, we intend to do just that — with with many entwined branches, and we affection, with joy and with tremendous gratitude. It has been our great privilege to accompany will also help trace this tree’s sometimes meandering these ancient and apostolic churches on their pilgrim roots. journey, a journey that has given us a deeper appreciation for the rich and beautiful mystery of faith The result, we hope, is a portrait of the world we serve that binds us together as members of the one human — and a tribute to those who inhabit it and glorify the one who created it. family.
t Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople embraces Pope Francis during a liturgy in the Patriarchal Church of St. George in Istanbul.
OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF CNEWA
The official publication of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA)