An initial installment of assistance totaling $75,000 to India from parishes in the Archdiocese of New York is being directed to the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) for quick distribution to the country now being ravaged by Covid-19.
Cardinal Dolan, who led prayers on behalf of India May 8 at the Marian Shrine in Stony Point, also called on New York parishes to collect funds for India at Masses that same weekend.
The cardinal reminded the 200 people joining him in praying the Rosary’s Sorrowful Mysteries at Mary Help of Christian Chapel that he had visited the Salesian-run shrine in March 2020 to pray to “Jesus, through Mary, Our Lady Help of Christians,” as New Yorkers were beginning to battle the coronavirus.
“And now, that we hear such desperate news from India…I thought, ‘She came through for us, and we can’t forget the great people of India.’”
CNEWA, with offices and personnel always on the ground in India, is an international papal agency based at the New York Catholic Center in Manhattan. It has more than nine decades of experience in working closely with India’s Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara Catholic churches.
Msgr. Peter I. Vaccari, president of CNEWA, told CNY, “First, I want to thank His Eminence, Cardinal Dolan, for calling us together in prayer invoking the intercession of our Blessed Mother for the people of India. Second, I want to thank the people of the Archdiocese of New York for their prayerful and generous support of the work of CNEWA in India.”
“Your gifts are being rushed to our people on the ground in India, who work closely with the local churches working on the front lines of the pandemic. These bishops, priests, sisters and lay leaders are consoling, feeding, nursing, healing and praying, putting themselves in great danger all for the love of the Gospel. Your gifts will save lives.”
The cardinal, who is chairman of CNEWA’s board, expressed his gratitude for the generosity of New York’s Catholic community in responding to his request.
He also asked that priests from India who are currently serving in the archdiocese contact his office with their personal recommendations so that the financial assistance expected at parishes yet to send in their collections may be able to reach those in greatest need.