Giving Voice to the Voiceless
Day 4, Kurdistan Iraq Today during our pastoral visit with Cardinal Dolan, chair of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA), our mission brought us within a few miles of the Turkish border and a few miles from the devastated city of Mosul. Our mission today and every day here in Kurdistan, Iraq is to show solidarity with those suffering from the ravages of ISIS persecution of Christians, Muslims and the Kurdish religious community called Yazidis. No group seems to have been spared. We visited an inspiring CNEWA medical clinic with state-of-the-art medicines and equipment that treats those displaced and now settled in the city of Duhok. Once again, many of the…
Hope & Holiness in Erbil
Day 3 in Iraq Today’s visit to the school for children displaced from Mosul was more celebratory with the presence of Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop Warda and Bishop Murphy. An assembly of more than 440 students gathered in the central square of the school accompanied by marching music. CNEWA’s head Msgr. Kozar made sure that the visitors experienced the uplifting spirit of the school that the Dominican Sisters infuse every day. The deeply spiritual atmosphere of the school is exemplified by the volunteer French catechist and her Iraqi translator who teach the children how to pray to Jesus. CNEWA support and spirit are essential to making the school so successful.
Hope & Courage Amidst Suffering & Persecution
Day 2 in Iraq In the morning, we visited one of the medical clinics and refugee camps in Erbil. The camp is overseen by one of the local priests and the Dominican Sisters are actively present. The clinic is supported by and was built with the assistance of CNEWA. More than 90 children are seen at the pediatric clinic each day. Hundreds of adults are seen and administered other medical services at the clinic. The camp holds more than 1,200 families – most living in their own trailer. Some families are doubled up. About 50 families are living in single room containers in a large warehouse type building. While this…
Education: A Path to Dignity for Christian Refugees
My First Day in Iraq On the first day of a mission with the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) and Cardinal Dolan I had an opportunity to visit both an elementary school and a university in Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq. Both were only built and opened within the past year to deal with the exodus of Christians fleeing the onslaught of ISIS around Mosul beginning in the summer of 2014. These photos reflect the vibrancy of both sites as their very existence brings dignity and hope to those being educated at these schools. The Dominican Sisters operate the elementary school that is strongly supported by CNEWA and a number of…