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‘Christian discipleship’ motivated Rev. Martin Luther King

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GARY, Ind. — For young Jaymee Dixon, the tribute to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at Holy Angels Cathedral “means a lot. It feels great to be a black person doing something.”

Dixon, 15, is a member of the Wirt-Emerson Concert Choir that performed at the eighth annual King tribute at the cathedral Jan. 11. The high school student said black history today is loaded with stories of young black people dying.

The cathedral event was held in observance of Rev. King’s birthday, Jan. 15. The federal holiday marking his birthday this year is Jan. 19.

Joyce Gillie Cruse, an adjunct professor at Xavier University and Loyola University New Orleans, gives the keynote address at the eighth annual tribute to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at Holy Angels Cathedral in Gary, Ind., Jan. 11. (CNS photo/Anthony D. Alonzo, Northwest Indiana Catholic)

Joyce Gillie Cruse, an adjunct professor at Xavier University and Loyola University New Orleans, gives the keynote address at the eighth annual tribute to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at Holy Angels Cathedral in Gary, Ind., Jan. 11. (CNS photo/Anthony D. Alonzo, Northwest Indiana Catholic)

Joyce F. Gillie Cruse, guest speaker at the tribute, addressed those deaths, some of which have become household names, including Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Ferguson, Missouri.

Noting how Rev. King’s fight for all races and against a system that promotes racism and racial divide, Gillie Cruse said Rev. King’s “vision is still in the process of coming true” decades after the civil rights leader was slain in 1968.

Recalling the recent deaths of young black males, Gillie Cruse said, “There is something wrong in this country.”

While many in this country have blamed police actions for these deaths, Gillie Cruse said there are other issues to be addressed, issues that “make black males an endangered species.”

These issues, Gillie Cruse said, include a low percentage of black voters, black teen homelessness, failing school systems, high crime rates, and unemployment or jobs that do not pay a living wage. Also, she said, only 26 percent of African-Americans get married.

“We have some serious issues, and it’s not just the police,” Gillie Cruse said.

An adjunct professor at Xavier University and Loyola University in New Orleans, Gillie Cruse previously served in the Diocese of Gary, working with Gary cluster parishes on adult faith formation and evangelization.

“We need to do something,” she said. “What are we going to do for our children, to help them see a good future? We must re-assess the balance of our society and think out of the box.”

Gillie Cruse suggested opening 24-hour community youth centers, keeping schools open at night, having leaders who address these issues, and church members allotting 10 percent of their tithe to promote children’s programming, including money for college.

In short, Gillie Cruse said, “Do more than hear a speaker.”

Gillie Cruse encouraged her audience to “meet somewhere” to discuss challenges in society. “Do what you can to address these issues.”

The annual King tribute included several selections performed by the Wirt-Emerson Concert Choir, comments from local representatives, and orator Troy Patterson Thomas’ rendition of Rev. King’s iconic “I have a dream” speech.

Father Mick Kopil, rector of Holy Angels Cathedral, recalled the words of Blessed Paul VI, who said there could be no peace without justice. The Sunday afternoon tribute, Father Kopil said, honors the memory of a man “who worked among us for peace and justice.”

Father Charles Mosley, pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Hammond, noted a recent interview with civil rights leader Andrew Young, who said that Rev. King’s mission was not so much about changing the world as it was about changing a reality “of how African-Americans are seen.’

Citing low black voter turnout in the last election, Father Mosley said, “We need to change our reality, so we can move forward.” Instead of talking about racism or black lives lost at next year’s King tribute, the Hammond pastor said people should discuss their accomplishments and additional work to be done.

Father Mosley prayed for “new hope, new light” to help achieve Rev. King’s vision. “Bless us, guide us, help us become all you want us to be, so we can give glory to your name.”

In a Jan. 14 column, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput wrote that the annual King observance is much more than a celebration of the civil rights leader’s service on behalf of the nation’s black community and other ethnic minorities. It’s also, he said, “a celebration of the power of religious faith working through believers who open themselves selflessly to that which God calls them to do in the world.”

“More than 50 years have passed since Martin Luther King Jr. stepped into America’s racial divide of the 1950s and 1960s. Although that divide has eased in some important ways, recent events show that much remains to be done,” the archbishop said in his column, posted on CatholicPhilly.com, the Philadelphia archdiocesan news website.

This year’s King observance “comes at a key moment,” he continued. “We should take advantage of it by reflecting on why King’s efforts to fight racial injustice bore such good fruit, and what his witness means for the United States today.

“It’s a moment for those of us who are Christians to re-examine our own lives in light of the Gospel, and to ground ourselves again in the same word of God that gave Martin Luther King the courage and perseverance to seek healing where sin had wrought racial conflict.”

In today’s secular society, “people can too easily forget” that Rev. King’s pursuit of justice for minorities “was fundamentally Christian,” Archbishop Chaput said. “The inspiration for his activism came not from a devotion to any political party or even set of public policy solutions, but rather from his understanding of Christian discipleship.”

He urged that celebrating the King holiday not only pay tribute to Rev. King’s “great service” but also be a reminder of the power of religious faith and the selfless acts that God calls all to undertake, “even when it involves suffering, difficulty and sacrifice.”

— By Steve Euvino

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Viewpoint: Protecting the unborn in a ‘throwaway culture’

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What a sight!

Over 25 times from the top of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., I have seen a sea of people marching to proclaim the dignity of unborn human life, and how death-dealing abortion sends the unholy message that some human beings are disposable.

As I write, I plan to march with and view that sea of people once again, during the 42nd annual “March for Life” on Jan. 22.   It’s always a moral and spiritual shot-in-the-arm for me.

A man holds signs and prays during the 2012 March for Life rally in Washington. Pro-life groups from across the U.S. will converge on the National Mall in January when the March for Life returns to Washington for the 42nd annual rally protesting abortion.(CNS photo/Bob Roller)

A man holds signs and prays during the 2012 March for Life rally in Washington. Pro-life groups from across the U.S. will converge on the National Mall in January when the March for Life returns to Washington for the 42nd annual rally protesting abortion.(CNS photo/Bob Roller)

But good as they are, the Washington “March for Life” and the “Walk for Life West Coast” in San Francisco (on Jan. 24), as well as dozens of similar events at states throughout the U.S., are simply not enough.

While progress has been made to lessen the number of abortions, nonetheless, according to the National Right to Life Committee approximately 1 million unborn brothers and sisters are brutally dismembered by abortion each year.

And globally, according to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, over 40 million unborn babies are killed annually by abortion.

Throughout the year believers in the God of life need to pray, educate, peacefully protest, donate and lobby on behalf of the unborn. They can’t do it for themselves.

Therefore, please email and call your two U.S. senators (Capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121) urging them to cosponsor and actively support the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” which would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of unborn life.

There is solid medical evidence that unborn babies feel pain by at least 20 weeks after fertilization (www.nrlc.org/abortion/fetalpain). And abortion is brutally painful.

According to the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the abortion technique known as “dilation and evacuation,” used to abort unborn children up to 24 weeks, uses forceps with sharp metal jaws to grasp parts of the developing baby, which are then twisted and torn away.

 

Another abortion technique after 16 weeks of pregnancy known as “saline amniocentesis,” inserts a needle through the mother’s abdomen and withdraws a cup of amniotic fluid and replaces it with a powerful salt solution.

According to the NRLC, the baby swallows the salt solution and is poisoned. The chemical solution also causes painful burning and deterioration of the baby’s skin (www.nrlc.org/abortion/medicalfacts/techniques).

In a Sept. 20, 2013 address to a gathering of Catholic gynecologists, Pope Francis affirmed the sacredness of unborn human life, and connected it to the work of social justice.

He said, “In all its phases and at every age, human life is always sacred and always of quality.”

The Holy Father said abortion is a product of a “widespread mentality of profit, the throwaway culture, which today enslaves the hearts and intelligences of so many.”

This mindset he added “requires eliminating human beings, especially if physically or socially weaker. Our answer to this mentality is a decisive and unhesitant ‘yes’ to life.”

Taking a consistent ethic of life position, the pope linked together unborn babies, the aged and the poor as among the most vulnerable human beings whom Christians are called to love.

“Things have a price and are saleable, but persons have a dignity, they are worth more than things and they have no price. Because of this, attention to human life in its totality has become in recent times a real and proper priority of the Magisterium of the Church, particularly for life which is largely defenseless, namely, that of the disabled, the sick, the unborn, children, the elderly. …

“They cannot be discarded.”

Tony Magliano, a syndicated social justice and peace columnist, lives in the Diocese of Wilmington.

 

 

 

 

 

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Obituary: Sister Alexis Paolozzi, 99, former director of St. Peter’s outreach

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Sister Alexis Paolozzi, a Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul who served for 13 years in the Diocese of Wilmington, died Jan. 8 at St. Louise House in Albany, N.Y. She was 99.

PAOLOZZI, SR ALEXISSister Alexis was born in Utica, N.Y., and baptized Eliza Marie Paolozzi. She entered the Daughters of Charity in 1935, ministering primarily in education, although her longest assignment was as the director of St. Peter’s Outreach Services in Wilmington. She was there from 1986-99.

She also ministered in Maryland, Virginia, New York, Missouri and Connecticut. She was a teacher, superior of her local community and a hospital receptionist.

Funeral services will be held next week. A wake service is scheduled for Jan. 12 at DePaul Chapel at St. Louise House in Albany. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Jan. 13 at 10:30 a.m., with burial to follow at St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands, N.Y.

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Hope Sustained: Parishioners donate $31 million to capital campaign, $3 million over goal

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Dialog Editor

 

“We’ve been very blessed,” Bishop Malooly said last week. He was announcing the response to the ambitious Sustaining Hope for the Future capital campaign launched by the diocese in 2013.

The pledged total is now $31,074,000, more than $3 million over the campaign’s target, $28 million.

“This is a real tribute to the people and the pastors” of the diocese, Bishop Malooly said. Read more »

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Photo of the Day: Give that publicist a raise

January 8th, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized

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Pope Francis meets U.S. actress Angelina Jolie during a private audience at the Vatican Jan. 8. Jolie met with the pope after a screening at the Vatican of her film “Unbroken,” the Vatican said. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

Pope Francis meets U.S. actress Angelina Jolie during private audience at Vatican

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Photo of the Week: Pope meets concentration camp survivors

January 8th, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized

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Following his address during his Jan. 7 general audience at the Vatican, Pope Francis made a brief address to German and Polish-speaking groups attending the audience, and then greeted a delegation of people who survived

Pope Francis meets Auschwitz concentration camp survivors during his weekly general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Jan. 7. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via EPA)

Pope Francis meets Auschwitz concentration camp survivors during his weekly general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Jan. 7. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via EPA)

the Auschwitz concentration camp and were freed 70 years ago in January.

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Pope Francis offers Mass for victims of Paris attack

January 8th, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized

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VATICAN CITY — The morning after 12 people were shot to death and 11 others injured at the Paris office of a satirical weekly newspaper, Pope Francis dedicated his early morning Mass to the victims and their families.

At the beginning of the Mass Jan. 8, he told the small congregation that the attack in Paris Jan. 7 was a reminder of “the cruelty man is capable of. Let us pray at this Mass for the victims of this cruelty; there are so many! And, we pray also for the perpetrators of such cruelty that the Lord will change their hearts.”

A person holds a placard which reads "Charb died free" to pay tribute during a vigil in Paris Jan. 7, following a shooting by gunmen at the offices of weekly satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. Pope Francis condemned the killings of at least 12 people at the offices of the publication Jan. 7 and denounced all "physical and moral" obstacles to the peaceful coexistence of nations, religions and cultures. (CNS photo/Gonzalo Fuentes, Reuters)

A person holds a placard which reads “Charb died free” to pay tribute during a vigil in Paris Jan. 7, following a shooting by gunmen at the offices of weekly satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. Pope Francis condemned the killings of at least 12 people at the offices of the publication Jan. 7 and denounced all “physical and moral” obstacles to the peaceful coexistence of nations, religions and cultures. (CNS photo/Gonzalo Fuentes, Reuters)

French police were searching for two heavily armed men believed to be those who burst into the offices of Charlie Hebdo weekly during an editorial meeting. Among the dead were the weekly’s editor and four cartoonists, who have been criticized in the past by Muslim groups for their caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

French President Francois Hollande called the slayings “a terrorist attack without a doubt.”

Although he met personally Jan. 8 with Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois of Paris, Pope Francis also sent a telegram to the cardinal expressing his condolences to the victims’ families and the entire French nation.

Through his prayers, the message said, the pope shares “the pain of the bereaved families and the sadness of all the French” and asked God to comfort and console the injured. He also reiterated his condemnation of such violence and asked God for peace.

Hours after the attack, Pope Francis condemned the killings and called on all people of goodwill to work to stem “the spread of hatred and every form of violence, both physical and moral, that destroys human life, violates the dignity of persons and radically undermines the fundamental good of peaceful coexistence among persons and peoples no matter their nationality, religion or culture.”

“The Holy Father expresses the firmest condemnation of the horrible attack,” said a statement from the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, who added that the killings had deeply disturbed “all persons who love peace, well beyond the borders of France.”

“Whatever the motivation might be, homicidal violence is abominable, is never justifiable,” the Vatican statement said. “Every instigation to hatred should be rejected, respect for the other cultivated.”

Father Lombardi said Pope Francis expressed his “spiritual solidarity and support” for all those “committed to serving peace, justice and law, in order to heal the deepest sources and causes of hatred, in this painful and dramatic moment, in France and every part of the world marked by tension and violence.”

The office of Cardinal Vingt-Trois released a statement expressing the cardinal’s “horror” at the attack and “his deep compassion for the families and friends of the victims. With the Catholics of Paris, he condemns this act of barbarism and calls for people to work ever more diligently to build relationships of peace and mutual respect in our society.”

“This society, made up of all manner of diversities, must continually work to construct peace,” said the Jan. 7 statement. “The barbarism shown in this killing wounds us all, and in this situation, when anger may envelop us, we must devote attention more than ever to our weakened fraternity.”

News of the attack came as Pope Francis was holding his weekly general audience; among the groups present for the audience and a brief conversation with the pope were four imams from France.

Speaking later with the French Catholic news agency I.Media and the French Catholic newspaper La Croix, Mohammed Moussaoui, president of the French Union of Mosques, said the country’s Muslims condemned the attack and must react against their faith being “exploited by criminals.”

Tareq Oubrou, the head of the mosque in Bordeaux, said French Muslims were “traumatized” by the attack and feel their faith is being “taken hostage by crackpots.”

The imams and French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, issued a joint statement Jan. 8 saying they shared Pope Francis’ sentiments and joined him in “denouncing cruelty and blind violence.”

“We invite believers to demonstrate, through friendship and prayer, their human and spiritual solidarity with the victims and their families,” the statement said.

Given the fact the targets were employees of a newspaper, the cardinal and the imams also said that “without freedom of expression, the world is in danger.”

“Given the impact of the media” on society and on individuals, they said, religious leaders of every faith must “offer information respectful of religions, their followers and their practices, thus promoting a culture of encounter.”

French media reported Jan. 8 that Muslim places of worship had been raked by gunfire overnight at Le Mans and Port-la-Nouvelle, without casualties, while a female police officer had been shot dead in southern Paris Jan. 8 during the manhunt for the terrorists.

 

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Prolong Christmas joy by serving others, pope says on feast of St. Stephen

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — The day after Christmas, Pope Francis warned Catholics about two related temptations: giving Christmas a “false, sugary coating” and not putting the faith one professes into action.

Reciting the Angelus Dec. 26 — a holiday in Italy and the feast of St. Stephen, the martyred deacon who served the poor, the pope said Stephen “honored the coming into the world of the king of kings, gave witness to him and offered as a gift his life in service for the poorest. In that way, he shows us how to fully live the mystery of Christmas.”

Pope Francis waves as he arrives to deliver his Christmas blessing "urbi et orbi" (to the city and the world) from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Dec. 25. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis waves as he arrives to deliver his Christmas blessing “urbi et orbi” (to the city and the world) from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Dec. 25. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

In the day’s Gospel reading from St. Matthew, Jesus tells his disciples, “You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved.”

The reading, Pope Francis said, doesn’t “break up the celebration of Christmas, but it strips it of that false, sugary coating that does not belong to it.”

“If we really want to welcome Jesus into our lives and prolong the joy of that holy night,” he said, “the path is indicated by this Gospel: Give witness to Christ in humility, in silent service, without being afraid of going against the current and paying the price.”

Not everyone is called to martyrdom, he said, “but every Christian is called in every situation to be consistent with the faith he or she professes.”

One cannot say, “‘I’m a Christian,’ and live like a pagan,” the pope said.

Remembering St. Stephen as the first Christian martyr, Pope Francis also urged the thousands of people gathered in St. Peter’s Square to pray for “all those who are discriminated against, persecuted and killed for their witness of Christ. I want to say to each of them: If you carry this cross with love, you have entered into the mystery of Christmas, and you are in the heart of Christ and of the church.”

The pope also asked for prayers that “the sacrifice of today’s martyrs, and they are many, would strengthen in every part of the world the commitment to recognizing and concretely assuring religious freedom, which is the inalienable right of every human person.”

 

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Merry Christmas from The Dialog

December 25th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized Tags: ,

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And have a Happy and a Holy 2015!

Detail from "Nativity at Night" by Italian Baroque painter Guido Reni depicts the birth of Christ in a Bethlehem manger. The feast of the Nativity of Christ, a holy day of obligation, is celebrated Dec. 25. (CNS/Bridgeman Art Library)

Detail from “Nativity at Night” by Italian Baroque painter Guido Reni depicts the birth of Christ in a Bethlehem manger. The feast of the Nativity of Christ, a holy day of obligation, is celebrated Dec. 25. (CNS/Bridgeman Art Library)

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2014 was a year marked by millions suffering in the Middle East

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Catholic News Service

The story of the Middle East in 2014 is one of war and displacement, broken families and tireless aid workers, and the rise of a new group one scholar referred to as “al-Qaida on steroids.”

It’s a story of populations stretched to the limit, but still welcoming more refugees as neighbors. And it’s a tale of religious leaders calling for prayer, meeting for dialogue and urging an end to the violence.

U.S. Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, N.Y., stands amid rubble from buildings destroyed in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza. Bishop Malone visited Gaza Sept. 14 as part of 18 bishops' nine-day prayer pilgrimage for peace in the Holy Land. (CNS photo/Matt McGarry,

U.S. Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, N.Y., stands amid rubble from buildings destroyed in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza. Bishop Malone visited Gaza Sept. 14 as part of 18 bishops’ nine-day prayer pilgrimage for peace in the Holy Land. (CNS photo/Matt McGarry)

The continuing civil war in Syria created what Antonio Guterres, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, called “the defining humanitarian challenge of our times.” His agency estimated in December that more than 3.3 million Syrian refugees lived in the neighboring countries of Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.

UNHCR also estimated that, within Syria, 12.2 million people were in need, including 7.6 million people displaced from their homes. Of those displaced, half were children.

Amid the migration of Syrians to neighboring countries, a group calling itself the Islamic State began driving Christians, Yezidis and even Muslim minorities from parts of Syria and Iraq. The minorities told stories of the Islamic State group cutting off electricity for weeks ahead of the main troops’ arrival. When the militants arrived, minorities were told to convert to Islam, pay a protection tax or be killed.

Mary Habeck, associate professor in strategic studies at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, described the Islamic State, and its parent group, al-Qaida, as “merchants of violence” trying to “use Islam for their own purposes.” The groups are “a very tiny group of extremists that have decided that they understand what Islam is, and they are going to force the rest of the Muslim-majority world in their direction.”

After capturing Mosul, Iraq, in June, the Islamic State group declared a caliphate, or Islamic empire. Habeck said the group views itself as “the only legitimate government in the entire world.”

Faced with the choice of renouncing their faith or being killed, hundreds of thousands of Christians and other minorities in Iraq’s Ninevah province fled Mosul to places like Qaraqosh. Later, as Islamic State fighters advanced, the minorities fled again to cities like Irbil, Iraq, where they slept in churches or in tents in parks and on the streets.

The mass migration of Syrians and Iraqis, combined with Palestinians left homeless after a 50-day Israeli incursion into the Gaza Strip, created a huge challenge for international aid organizations, including those run by the Catholic Church. Most refugees in the Middle East do not live in camps, but in local communities. This placed a strain on the host countries.

Church agencies focused on helping those communities. For instance, between August and early November, Caritas Jordan registered 4,000 Iraqis; the agency helped more who did not register.

Lebanon, a country 70 percent the size of Connecticut, has a population of 4 million and hosted 1.5 million additional refugees.

Jordan, slightly smaller than Indiana, with a population of 6.5 million, recognized 44 different nationalities as refugees. From 1921 to 2011, Jordan had a $10 billion deficit; since the Arab Spring began in 2011, it has picked up an additional $10 billion deficit.

Although the Jordanian government welcomed those fleeing, for the past three years it said that 30 percent of any aid going to help Syrian refugees must help the host community. It set similar quotas when Iraqis began fleeing to Jordan in 2003, at the start of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Christian aid agencies tried to coordinate their work, focusing on various aspects of aid: One agency might help with mattresses and personal items; another might help with education.

Church agencies also coordinated aid in Gaza after the Israeli-Hamas war left 2,000 Palestinians dead, thousands injured and more than 100,000 people homeless.

In July, the Catholic aid agencies met three times in as many days, planning for Gazans’ psychosocial and material needs.

“We are talking about a massive number of people who will be in need of help, and of at least 200,000 children who will need intervention,” Sami El-Yousef, regional director of the Jerusalem office of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, told Catholic News Service in July.

During a May visit to the Holy Land, Pope Francis made an unscheduled stop to pray for peace before the controversial separation wall built by Israel throughout the West Bank land. He invited Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the Vatican to pray for peace.

Throughout the year, he made repeated calls for peace in the Middle East. In early October, he met with the region’s apostolic nuncios and top Vatican officials; later that month, he included a discussion on the Middle East during the Oct. 20 consistory of cardinals in order to let the region’s seven patriarchs, who were taking part in the Synod of Bishops, also attend the proceedings.

At that meeting, Pope Francis said the Middle East was experiencing “terrorism of previously unimaginable proportions” in which the perpetrators seem to have absolutely no regard for the value of human life.

The Mideast Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs as well as bishops from North America, Europe and Oceania visited the Holy Land and northern Iraq to express solidarity with their fellow Christians. And although patriarchs expressed concern about Christians fleeing the violence in northern Iraq, laypeople were not the only ones leaving the advance of Islamic State: Twelve Chaldean religious men and priests living in the United States, Canada, Australia and Sweden were suspended from exercising their priestly ministry for not receiving permission from their superiors before emigrating from Iraq.

Once the Iraqis and Syrians fled, they hoped for resettlement in another country. One refugee described waiting for resettlement as “miserable days doing nothing.” Almost all Iraqis interviewed by a variety of news sources said they would not return to their country.

Father Rifat Bader described the refugees: “They are teachers. They are normal people, very kind people.” Faith “is a part of their identity.”

The Iraqis, he said, “are knocking at the doors of the embassies” trying to get resettled. But after their initial appointment, they were being forced to wait six months for a second appointment, he said

 

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