July 21st, 2006

To all Pastors and Administrators

Would you kindly make the following information available to your parishioners. This can be done either by an announcement during Mass or in your parish bulletin:


OTTAWA Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) has launched an emergency appeal inviting Canadians to aid Lebanese families displaced by the shelling of southern Lebanon and Beiruts southern suburbs. More than 500,000 people (13 percent of Lebanons population of 3.9 million) have thus far fled; some 30,000 families have found shelter in schools in the regions of Baabda, Chouf, Jbeil, Kesserwan and Metn. An additional 150,000 people have fled the country.

CNEWAs Beirut-based staff has surveyed displacement centers in Jbeil, Kesserwan and Metn and report urgent need for drinking water, powdered milk, blankets, canned food, soap, detergents and sponge mattresses. Within the next 10 to 15 days, critical shortages of fuel oil and gasoline, food supplies and drinking water will impact the entire country Lebanon is cut off from the rest of the world.

Contributions, which are tax-deductible, can be sent by mail to CNEWA Canada, 1247 Kilborn Place, Ottawa, Ontario K1H 6K9, or through CNEWAs web site, www.cnewacanada.ca or by phone 1-866-322-4441. Contact person: Carl Hétu (613) 783-9666. Email: [email protected]

Founded in 1926 by Pope Pius XI, CNEWA is a special agency of the Holy See providing support to the churches and peoples of the Middle East, Northeast Africa, India and Eastern Europe. Its projects include needy child, seminarian and religious sister sponsorship programs; village redevelopment; health care and education; and public awareness and interreligious dialogue programs.

Thanking you in advance for your cooperation, I remain,

Sincerely yours in Christ our Lord,

+ Marcel Gervais
Archbishop of Ottawa