By CNEWA Staff
OTTAWA – Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) and the Catholic Women’s League of Canada (CWL) are urging Canadians to spend time in prayer, Sept. 21, for peace in the Holy Land and the Middle East.
To help encourage the important spiritual exercise and acts of solidarity and charity, CNEWA is offering Canadians an opportunity to support peace initiatives through the sale of a hand-crafted ceramic peace lamp, as well as providing some carefully-curated prayers for peace.
“Peace does not come about by chance,” says Carl Hétu, national director of CNEWA Canada.
“The peace process is a long one that requires a foundation of prayer and many people of goodwill who are oftentimes spread around the world. We want people in the Middle East and Holy Land, as well as those who face similar challenges in other parts of the world to remember that peace, today, is the only route to a better tomorrow for all.”
Hand made in Taybeh, a small village in the West Bank, the peace lamps are shaped in the form of a dove and painted with the cross of Jerusalem. Available in two sizes, the larger lamp also features an olive branch, long associated with peace and reconciliation among peoples. The lamps are available at cnewa.ca for $40 and $50 plus shipping and handling.
In addition to supporting the artists in Taybeh, CNEWA invites Canadians to consider donations to its Lebanese campaign that is directing funds to local Churches in the area to help them to continue their work of outreach and charity to those most in need. Launched Aug. 6, the campaign has so far gathered in more than $340,000 in Canada alone.
“We’ve seen the work of CNEWA throughout the Middle East and beyond,” says Marie Rackley, National CWL Community Life Chairperson. “We are pleased to support them once again with this special prayer initiative for Christians in the Holy Land and Middle East.”
Peace Lamps will be available at cnewa.ca throughout the year.
Prayers from the campaign include:
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9) + Lord, help us to be peacemakers in the Holy Land. +
“But Esau ran to meet him (Jacob), took him in his arms, threw himself on his neck and wept as he kissed him.” (Genesis 33:4) +Lord, help the people of the Holy Land follow the example of Jacob and Esau and reconcile themselves to each other. +
Each year, on Sept. 21, the World Council of Churches calls churches and parishes to observe the International Day of Prayer for Peace. This day is also the UN-sponsored International Day of Peace.
Additional donations for peace in the Middle East can be made online at cnewa.ca or by phone at 1-866-322-4441. Cheques can be mailed to CNEWA Canada at 1247 Kilborn Place, Ottawa, ON K1H 6K9. In all instances, donors are invited to identify their region or cause of choice (Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Holy Land etc.). Tax receipts will be issued for donations of $10 or more.