At the end of the Mass in Philadelphia, the Pope presented the Gospel to five families from around the world. They were accompanied by a family that arrived directly from Damascus, Syria, where the population is suffering from one of the greatest humanitarian tragedies of our time. Such a significant presence could not be lacking; it intends to remind everyone, in these days of celebration, of the situation of families affected by war and destruction.
In accord with the Apostolic Nunciature in Syria and thanks to the collaboration of CNEWA, we are beginning a fundraising campaign to support 6,000 families, who do not know how to keep warm during the coming winter, which is particularly harsh in that region. Approximately 350 US dollars per family are needed, for a total of about $ 2 million.
CNEWA, Catholic Near East Welfare Association, is an agency of the Holy See, founded by Pope Pius XI in 1926, that works through the Eastern churches in the Middle East.
Gifts via electronic wire transfer may be arranged by calling 1.212.826.1480. Checks may also be sent to CNEWA, 1011 First Avenue, New York, New York, U.S.A, 10022-4195.
Announcing the initiative, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia said:
"The World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia is the starting point of a dream of a more familial world: 5 families from 5 continents will take the Gospel into the peripheries of the world. They are accompanied by a family from Damascus that will return to its war-ravaged homeland with the Gospel that nourishes the heart and with help from families around the world to warm the coming winter."