Dr. Adriana Bara is the new national director of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association in Canada (CNEWA). Until her appointment, Dr. Bara directed the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism in Montreal, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1963. She succeeds Carl Hétu, who launched CNEWA’s outreach in Canada when CNEWA established an office in Ottawa in 2004.
1. In what countries does CNEWA work and how does the organization help those most in need?
Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) works across the Middle East (Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria), Northeast Africa (Egypt, Eritrea and Ethiopia), India and Eastern Europe (Ukraine, Armenia, and Georgia).
CNEWA accompanies the Eastern Catholic Churches in these countries and supports the local Christian communities and those most in need through the service of our church partners, which include religious sisters, priests, volunteer lay people and various Christian institutions.
2. How did your background prepare you for this role?
I studied Theology for many years and tried to put into practice the words of the Gospel. Christ called us to love our neighbours, not only as ourselves but as He loved us (who can imagine a greater love than His?). Christ also said that when we give food, drink, clothes, and help people in need, we do it for Him. The CNEWA team works to fulfill these divine callings – and I am happy to be part of it.
3. Why were you interested in taking on this position?
I had been interested in taking this position to work for the Kingdom of God. CNEWA has been a lifeline for the poor throughout the Middle East, Northeast Africa, India and Eastern Europe for almost 100 years. It is a venue to help others. My studies and work experience for the last several years have prepared me to help people in need in a tangible, practical and direct way. Thanks to the generous Canadian donors, I lead an association that makes an impact in people's life who desperately need our help.
4. What is your vision for CNEWA Canada moving forward?
My vision is aligned with CNEWA's mission of working with Eastern Catholic churches to identify needs and implement solutions. I trust that CNEWA will have an even more significant impact on childcare initiatives, care for the marginalized, emergency relief, and healthcare programs for the years to come. At the same time, I hope that CNEWA will have a greater impact in fortifying the local churches and their pastoral initiatives for refugees, displaced peoples and migrants, youth formation programs, catechesis, and Bible camps. All these great goals are possible with the help of generous Canadian donors.
I kindly invite faithful donors to continue donating to CNEWA and I encourage new donors to join us in our endeavour to helping our neighbours in great need. Please learn more about CNEWA and how you can help at: https://cnewa.org/ca/mission/. Please remember us in your holy prayers.