What motivated the Dominicans in the 18th century to establish a community at the heart of the Nineveh Plains? An exposition at the Dominican friary of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva in Rome, which runs until June 17, offers a collection of Iraqi manuscripts never shown to the public before—dating from between the 13th and 19th centuries—as well as exceptional photographs from the old photo archive of the Dominican friary in Mosul (Iraq).
WASHINGTON—Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, has urged the Senate to pass the “Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act” (H.R. 390). The proposed legislation calls for much needed assistance for survivors of genocide, especially in Iraq and Syria, and would allow faith-based organizations (such as Catholic Relief Services) that are already providing humanitarian assistance to these populations, to access U.S. government funding in their work, increasing aid to those desperately in need.
In a letter to U.S. Senator Bob Corker, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Benjamin Cardin, Ranking Member, Bishop Cantú wrote, “I commend you for your efforts to support those suffering persecution in Iraq and Syria and trust that swift Senate consideration and passage of H.R. 390 will contribute to a longer-term solution to the crisis in the region.”
It’s been nearly three years since ISIS captured the Iraqi city of Mosul, causing many of the residents, including — eventually — the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, to flee. In those three years, the sisters have reimagined many of their ministries to make them work for life in a refugee camp.
Support from the global network for Dominican sisters has helped bring these ministries to fruition. Sr. Lorelle Elcock, prioress of the New York-based Dominican Sisters of Hope, shares what her parish has done to help the Iraqi sisters.
Dominican-Iraqi sister Habiba Bihnam Toma spoke about the time she spent helping refugees after bombings in northern Iraq in 2014.
Toma said she and her fellow sisters did not want to leave Qaraqosh, Iraq until everyone in the village had fled, but upon hearing news that ISIS was on its way, they were forced to retreat.
“A friend called me and tearfully pleaded that the sisters leave quickly,” Toma, who began learning English in the fall, said. “ISIS had already entered…and we were in grave danger.”
Below is a list of all statements made by US Bishops or state bishops conferences as located on diocesan websites.
ERBIL, Iraq—The murderous advance of the Islamic State has forced more than 1.7 million people in Iraq from their homes. The displaced come from various religious, ethnic and economic backgrounds — suggesting that this is still a diverse country, despite years of war and bloodshed.
Here are some of the stories from those who recently had to flee their homes.
A Dominican Sister
“We had only one choice: face death or leave,” says Sister Luma, a nun of the Dominican order who left her hometown of Qaraqosh, Iraq’s largest Christian town, in August — one of roughly 50,000 Christians who fled ISIS’s advance on the ancient town.
With gratitude, we write to let you know of the welcome of our family in Iraq to our proposal for a delegation. Sister Maria Hanna quickly responded: Thank you so very much for your thoughtful email. I told the sisters about your proposal, and they were happy to know that they were dearly loved. […]
Special Collections in Parishes The bishops of the United States will express their solidarity with Christians and other minorities in the Middle East in the face of ongoing violence and persecution by taking up a special collection. Proceeds from the collection will support immediate humanitarian and pastoral needs, as well as the cost of long-term […]
From the Iraqi Dominican Sisters: ” It is certain, many have reached their breaking point and despair is setting in.” August 30th 2014 Weakened and Impoverished We entered the fourth week of displacement. Yet, there is nothing promising at all. The Iraqi government has not done anything to regain the Christian towns back from the […]
Readings for Today “The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.” This was the response to your psalm today. I am not sure why it struck me so today, but as I heard it I began to wonder if I really believed what I was saying. I must confess there are times when […]