Photo: A displaced Syrian girl finds temporary shelter at a school in Damascus, Syria, Feb. 23.  (CNS photo/Youssef Badawi, EPA)


The other day on Vatican Radio, Archbishop Mario Zenari, the Papal Nuncio in Syria, spoke of the ongoing tragedy in Iraq and Syria with the ISIS terrorists continuing to spread their control over parts of the country through murder, barbaric slaughter and religious cleansing of Christians. The Nuncio and a very embattled Christian population live under the worst of conditions. Yet the Church, through the brave presence of priests and religious, continues to minister to the suffering Christian and Yazidi and Muslim families.

While political leaders debate, the Church, led by Pope Francis, continues to pray incessantly for an end to violence and terrorism and a durable peace that will respect all persons and all religious faiths in the Middle East. From time to time, whenever I have found some funds, I send them to Archbishop Zenari who distributes food and other necessities to the displaced, the homeless and the refugees, again through the sisters and priests who are close to the people. This week I have been able to cobble together $20,000 that will be sent to the Nuncio through the Vatican, thus guaranteeing that it will get to Damascus and from there to those most in need.

Please continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in Syria and Iraq and pray that our Diocese can continue to find means, no matter how small, to join our prayers with small acts of concrete help for the most needy.