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September 4, 1999     Arkansas Catholic
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September 4, 1999

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7ARI(J SAS CATHOLIC September 4, 1999 Page 11 Citation says Sister Julia served India's rural poor _..G GCUTFA, India (CNS) --- A 71-year- atholic nun has received an award for /l r service to the rural poor in a predomi- a tly Christian state in northeastern India. .... bleghalaya state official W.K Marak resented Immaculate Sister Julia ;ala aY n Majaw with the Mahatma Gandhi .Ward, comprising a citation and a ,0 rupee (US$2,300) prize, reported UA News, an Asian Church news agency based in Thailand. qt is in recoo'nition of her dedication to the agery and pove y in the rural areas," Marak said Aug. 3 during a the Immaculate generalate in agar, 70 miles north of Calcutta. arn grateful to God for (making me) la w,trument of development," said Sister who was selected in 1995 as recipi- of the state award. r_ Marak said the ceremony was ae ayed years in the hope that Indian President Narayanan or former President s S4 award Dayal Sharma could present the .. , but he said neither could go to the Capital f ShiUng toeC enfer lst't fes- . Ster Maiaw, who mad nrs pro at the @e of 24, is a Meghalaya native. holds a doctorate in educational "x,lgy from New Delhi's Jawaharlal ' ehru University. She completed her specialization in health and counseling in 1982 at University, and in 1986 she became COordinator for voluntary a encies in . te implementation of a biogm pkm to pro- fuel by fermenting organic waste. ,,LThe Catechist Sisters of Mary Irnmac- Help of Christians, popularly known Immaculate Sisters, were founded in ,#y oo ou o o owof tah. e nuns now manage maternity hospi- mother and child health programs, clinics, hostels and cultural centers for They also engage in adult literacy and a er WOmen's empowerment programs. 89th birthday Missionaries of Charity at their motherhouse in Calcutta, India, pray at the grave of Mother Teresa Aug. 26, the anniversary of her birth. Mother Teresa, founder of the Missionaries of Charity was born in 1910. .I By Judith Sudilovsky c THouc NEWS S WCE JERUSALEM -- Christmas plans are well under way in Bethlehem, and various churches' events are being coordinated by the city's Bethlehem 2000 project. Christiane Dabdoub Nasser, head of the church relations unit of the Bethlehem 2000 project, has been organizing the Choirs of the World on Manger Square event, Advent con- certs, the Dec. 4 Ecumenical Opening of the Millennium and the festive procession of the patriarchs on the different Christmas eves. She has been working intensively with the various churches since May 1998, largely con- centrafing on the logistics of Christmas 1999 in Bethlehem, but also helping organize var- ious other programs throughout the year. The official Bethlehem 2000 opening will take place Nov. 28 with a performance by the Vienna Boys Choir, which will be the first of a series of weekly concerts throughout Advent. Nasser is responsible for contact with the various churches and providing securi- ty, helping with the logistics and coordi- nating every event that will take place on Manger Square. The events are being organized by local churches. She said she is working to ensure that the events are planned with decorum and with- out over-commercialization. "Still, commercialization is an inevitable by-product, and it represents the practical aspect. People need to eat, and they don't live by prayer alone," she conceded. Palestinian economy has been stagnant and yes, this is a nice by.product." Bethlehem offidals also have begun to think about the different logistics a visit from the pope would require, she said. ' Ne are assuming he will be coming on March 25 for the Annunciation because of his devotion to the Virgin Mary, and we are starfng to think in-house. But we have not discussed it with the Catholic jubilee com- mittee, because we have not been told any- thing officially," Nasser said, The Vatican has said Pope John Paul II plans to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in March or April 2000. e By John Thavis CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE VATICAN CITY-- Responding to per- sistent reports that Pope John Paul II will travel to Iraq this fall, the Vatican said such a visit is still awaiting final approval. "This trip to the Middle East, which -- as is known --- the Holy Father intensely desires to make, has not yet been defined," Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said Aug. 26. The pope has said that as part of a bibli- cal pilgrimage, he wants to visit the site of ancient Ur, birthplace of Abraham, the ruins of which are located in southern lmq. U.S. diplomatic sources have said the United States is opposed to a papal visit to Iraq, and U.S. officials made their position clear to the Vatican over the summer. Iraq remains under U.N. embargo for non- compliance with weapons inspections, and in recent weeks U.S. planes have regularly bombed targets in the country in a contin- uing conflict over an imposed no-fly zone. Iraqi Chaldean Patriarch Raphael Bidawid told the France Press Agency Aug. 26 that the pope was expected to visit Iraq around Dec. 2-5. He said the final dates were not yet set. The pope has said that as part of a biblical pilgrimage, he wants to visit the site of ancient Ur, birthplace of Abraham, the ruins of which are located in southern Iraq. Meanwhile, French radio reported that the pope would visit Iraq, including the capital of Baghdad, Dec. 3-4, and then travel to Egypt to visit the monastery of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai. Informed Vatican sources said the only certain trip for the pope this fall is a Nov. 5-8 visit to India, where the pontiff will issue a concluding document on the Synod of Bishops for Asia. He is also scheduled to visit Slovenia Sept. 19. Drug 121 North Court GARLISLE 18701552-7837 Harold Lewis Pat Cook ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR 4i !