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 »  Home  »  Human Rights  »  Msgr. John E. Kozar Croatian American appointed president of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association
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Msgr. John E. Kozar Croatian American appointed president of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association
By Nenad N. Bach and Darko Žubrinić | Published  12/22/2011 | Human Rights , People , Education , Charity , Religion | Unrated
Former National director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States

Msgr. John E. Kozar. His both parents are from Croatia.

Monsignor John Kozar, National Director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith

Msgr. John E. Kozar, former national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States, has been appointed president of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association and the Pontifical Mission for Palestine. Msgr. Kozar is pictured giving Communion during Sunday Mass in late February at St. Joseph Church in Mutunguru, Kenya.  (photo: CNS/Nancy Wiechec) 

24 Jun 2011 – by Catholic News Service

NEW YORK (CNS) — Msgr. John E. Kozar, former national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States, has been appointed president of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association and the Pontifical Mission for Palestine.

When the appointments take effect Sept. 15, he will succeed Msgr. Robert L. Stern, a priest of the
Archdiocese of New York who has been the chief executive of the agency since 1987.

Msgr. Kozar, a 65-year-old priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, was elected to the post by the Catholic Near East Welfare Association’s board of trustees, chaired by Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York, and confirmed by the Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI named him to head the Pontifical Mission for Palestine.

Following studies at St. Meinrad Seminary College in Indiana and St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, he was ordained a priest May 1, 1971. As part of his seminary training, he spent a summer at a mission in Juliaca, Peru.

Then-Father Kozar spent the early years of his priesthood as an associate pastor at various parishes in the Pittsburgh Diocese. From 1978 to 2001, he served as development director for the diocese, making yearly pastoral visits to a mission in Chimbote, Peru.

He also worked 1987-2001 as pilgrimage director for the diocese, 1995-97 as vicar for clergy, 1995-2001 as diocesan director of the Pontifical Mission Societies and 1997-2001 as director of the Diocesan Jubilee Office, while simultaneously serving as pastor of several parishes.

Named national director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the Society of St. Peter
Apostle and the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious in January 2001, he added responsibility for the Holy Childhood Association later that year.

Together the four agencies make up the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States, which raise missionary awareness and mission funding under the jurisdiction of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

He was named a monsignor in December 2003.

The Catholic Near East Welfare Association, founded in 1926 by Pope Pius XI, has a fourfold mandate:

  • To support the pastoral mission and institutions of the Eastern Catholic churches.
  • To provide humanitarian assistance to all in need.
  • To promote Christian unity and interreligious understanding and collaboration.
  • To educate people in the West about the history, cultures, peoples and churches of the East.

The agency has its central office in Rome and administrative headquarters in New York City, as well as offices in Canada, Eritrea, India, Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and the United States.

The Pontifical Mission for Palestine was established in 1949 by Pope Pius XII to support programs of emergency assistance and relief; care and rehabilitation; education and human development; collaboration and service to other agencies; and advocacy and public awareness for the people of Palestine and neighboring areas of the Middle East.

It also has offices at the Vatican and in New York, as well as regional offices in Amman, Jordan; Beirut; and Jerusalem.


John E. Kozar writing

Humble Witness

Saints Timothy and Titus. I write this note to you after celebrating Mass here in our national office on the feast of these two bishops of the Church, missionaries themselves. St. Luke’s Gospel (Luke 10) for that Mass (January 26) particularly struck me, calling to mind a missionary I once met on a visit to India.

This priest had come to Ranchi in northeastern India from his native Belgium more than 60 years ago. He had, as our Lord instructed, settled there, staying with and serving the people. In all he did, he brought the Lord’s peace to the people, witnessing always to the abundant love the Lord has for each one of us. In fact, judging from his few possessions, he probably arrived in India with very little, just as the Lord had instructed those first disciples.

In my mission visits, I meet many missionaries just like that humble priest — priests, Religious and laity. They remind me — and, indeed, all of us — just what is most important to take with us on life’s journey. All we need to“carry” is ourmost precious possession, our faith, reflectingin our words and through the witness of our lives the peace, joy and love of our Lord. Maythe Lord bless each of you as you are His missionary— His voice — in your own lives every day!

Monsignor John E. Kozar

Happy New Year!

Here’s to a New Year — and the same mission! As we prepare to welcome 2011, I continue to receive hope

-filled “Good News” from theMissions — all made possible by your support of the Society for the

Propagation of the Faith.

Just before Christmas, an email came from Archbishop Douglas Young of Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea.

This missionary archbishop apologized for not sending photographs — his computer couldn’t process the large files, he said — but his words painted vivid and beautiful images of evangelizationin his mission church.

He told of five new parishes waiting to be established, and several new Mass centers started just this past year. Archbishop Young said that it costs about $100 to provide a tabernacle for such a Mass center, and just $25 to purchase a Bible and catechism for a youth leader, through whose witness many may come to know the Lord. During a meal with some priests and missionaries in this local church, Archbishop Young asked about the fruits of evangelization there — conversion and success stories.

Several told of those who had seen the faith witness of local Catholics and had asked for Baptism.

A local missionary spoke of success in helping others overcome addiction to drugs or alcohol. “The key is nearly always returning to the Sacraments,” this missionary said. Mass and the Sacraments; catechism and witness to our faith in Jesus. All part of evangelizationin the Missions — and all sustained by your prayers and support, year after year.Blessings and peace to you and those you love throughout the New Year!

Monsignor John E. Kozar
January 2011

Where Does Your Dollar Go?

It’s a question you’re likely to ask, particularly after the celebration of World Mission Sunday on
October 24. There’s a great explanation found on the page for World Mission Sunday (part of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith part of our site). And I’d like to share with you some examples that I’ve received this past month in letters from the Missions.

A note from Kazakhstan, one of the former Soviet republics that benefi ts from your generous help, observed that $100 would support a week’s retreat for 10 young people, and $50 would purchase 20 catechetical books. In the Diocese of Sanggau in Indonesia, $25 helps to provide a weekend formation course for a catechist, and $100 can be put toward a month’s support of a catechist who brings the “Good News” of Jesus to the poor in that part of Asia. And a letter from the Goroka Diocese in Papua New Guinea noted that $100 is more than the total Sunday collection for a few months,and so welcome support to any parish.

The WorldMission Sunday collection and celebration there is growing. During each weekend of October — “Mission Month”— parishes have a different activity, first looking at those who brought the “Good News” to them, and finally focusing on how they can support others who bring the Gospel message to the world.

The greatest gift we offer to the Missions is always prayer.

As one local priest in Africa noted, “Prayer is the heart behind the giving.” In this month of

Thanksgiving, I am prayerfully gratefulfor your generous missionary hearts!

Monsignor John E. Kozar
October 2010

Good News and More Good News!

That’s what we’ve been receiving from the Missions these days— information about the growth of the Church, as well as about its life-giving, hope-filled service to the poor.

One particular message struck me most. It was anote from Maria, a 12-year-old girl in Thailand. She wrote that she was a member in her home country of the Holy Childhood Association (a Pontifical Mission Society like the Society for the Propagation of the Faith). She and her Catholic friends — also Holy Childhood Association (HCA) members— attend Mass together before school. Maria spokeabout being a witness to her faith in Jesus, particularlyamong her classmates who are mostly Buddhist.

“We try to do things, little things, for others — like helping kindergarten students cross the road, or sharing our lunch,” she wrote. Maria and other HCA members even reached out with the Lord‘s love as they visited the sick mother of one of her Buddhist classmates.

Reading through the missionary witness of this young girl reminded me of the same missionary spirit found in our own young people here at home, also HCA members. Their prayers and sacrifices join with those of children all over the world— including Maria and her friends — so that more come to know Jesus, and be part of the family of the Church. Now that’s “good news” indeed.

Monsignor John E. Kozar
October 2010

Blessings Returned

Just the other day, I had a visit from Bishop Antony Pappusamy of Dindigul, India. I had spent time with this dynamic missionary bishop during a previous journey to his home country.

His diocese is relatively young — just about seven years old. There are 130,000 Catholics served by more than 125 local priests — diocesan and Religious — and 250 Religious Sisters.

Bishop Pappusamy shared “good news” withour national office family — the abundance of vocations to the priesthood and Religious life in his diocese. “We have been blessed,” Bishop Pappusamy told me. Unable to provide for the formation of so many young men, he encourages them to be educated in other diocesan seminaries, and to join missionary congregations. Once ordained, some of these young priests will servethe poor and suffering in northern India. Others are “sent” from India to serve in Africa; some staff parishes right here at home in the United States, giving witness to the universality of the Church and the evidence that Pentecost continues in our day. “In the beginning, we have been receiving,” said Bishop Pappusamy. “Now, we are giving back.”

Thousands of priests and Religious Sisters from the Missions have come to our shores in recent years to assist us in our pastoral needs. God is blessing us with the fruits and rewards of our past missionary generosity — and our large mission hearts. Blessings returned, indeed. May the Lord bless you for your missionary heart!

Monsignor John E. Kozar
September 2010

Moments from the Missions

Just last week, I recorded two new sets of 10 Mission Lessons, radio reflections on my mission visits. It was, for me, like making those journeys once again. I remembered meeting Sister Julie in Pakistan, a local Religious who educates street children. Thanks to her and the other Sisters in her Religious Community, these children no longer have to beg on the streets to earn a living. Instead, they get an education— and know they are loved. How much her presence means to these little ones. As I retold her story, I thought of each of you — and how, by your prayers, you send love and support to Sister Julie and all who serve our faraway family.

And I recalled the time I spent with 400 Sisters in Vietnam, celebrating with them during ceremonies welcoming even more into their Religious Community. How eager were these new Sisters to offer loving service among their own people. Remembering that experience for these radio messages, I thought as well of how God calls each one of us to love Him and neighbor. And I gave prayerful thanks for your answering that call for your mission family through your prayers and generous help.

As you journey through the moments of each day, please know that you are accompanied by my prayerful gratitude — and by the loving thanks of your brothers and sisters in the Missions!

Abundant Vocations

On my visit just this past month to Vietnam, I met hundreds of young women preparing for Religious life, and equal numbers of young men studying to be priests in this Asian country.

In the two seminaries I visited, there were joy filled young men eager to complete their studies so as to be witnesses to those in their homeland of the love and the peace of the Lord. In one seminary, they even work in the fields in the morning, planting crops for their food, before afternoon time in the classroom.

What a great privilege to attend the profession of final vows for Lovers of the Holy Cross Sisters. This local Religious Community has almost 200 young women in formation, as novices or aspirants. They will serve among the poorest of the poor in Vietnam, in social service and parish ministries, as well as through programs for younger children.

As I gave thanks for the blessing of vocations in Vietnam, I offered prayerful gratitude as well for
all who support the formation of young men for the priesthood, and young men and women for Religious life throughout the Missions.

May the Lord bless all I met as I traveled through Asia — and may He bless you as well, for your generous missionary hearts!

Monsignor John E. Kozar, National Director

June / July 2010

A Feeling of Gratitude

Gratitude. That is the feeling I had during the past week as I met in Rome, Italy, with national directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies from around the world. We gathered to review the great needs of the Missions and to distribute your generous gifts to help meet those needs.

I was grateful, first of all, as I listened to national directors from Africa and Asia speak of the

vibrant and growing faith of their people, often amidst poverty, suffering and persecution. They spoke of a hunger to know the Lord, and the efforts of local priests, Religious and lay catechists to help the poor come to experience the hope and love of Jesus. Above all, I felt gratitude for our connection in this “one family in mission.”

Through your prayers and by your sacrifices, you stand side-by-side with those who offer courageous witness to our faith in Jesus. You are with Sisters who visit families on a remote island in the Philippines, listening to and praying with them. You are with priests who remain with their suffering people in the Sudan as a sign of God’s abiding presence. And you are with catechists throughout the Developing World who proclaim the “Good News” of God’s great love for each one of us.

As I journeyed home from those meetings, my gratitude became a prayer of thanksgiving — for your generous missionary hearts which offer to your brothers and sisters in the Missions such life sustaining help. May God bless you!

Monsignor John E. Kozar, National Director

May / June 2010

Joyous Good News

Joy. Easter celebrations are marked by our rejoicing in the Lord’s Resurrection. Our mission family comes to know the joyous “Good News” of Easter through the word and witness of local priests, Religious Sisters and Brothers, and lay catechists.

In my own mission visits, I have experienced firsthand this joy, even in the midst of great suffering. A few years ago, I was blessed to be in East Timor during Holy Week. For decades, war and famine filled daily life for the people there. And yet, those I met reflected only the hope and joy of Easter. They would walk for miles — in blazing sun — to celebrate their faith in the Risen Jesus, a faith so many had witnessed to with their own blood.

I recall the family I visited in India — their joy beyond measure. It was on the day their daughter

would profess vows as a Religious Sister. After the ceremony there was a meal in the family’s humble home to honor this daughter of the Church. The family — materially poor but rich in faith and their love for the Lord — welcomed me into their home for that celebration. What a joy and a privilege to be there!

And there was the contagious joy of Sisters serving in Sri Lanka. These local Religious reflected that boundless joy in their work with children in orphanages and schools, and in their service at Church-run clinics.

In this Easter Season, may each of us reflect, in our lives, that joy, born of hope in the “Good News” of Jesus’ Resurrection! We continue to pray and offer help to support those who, in the Missions, proclaim such joy by their very presence among the poor and suffering.

Monsignor John E. Kozar, National Director

March 2010

Another Lent

Each year at this time, I cannot help but think of the great suffering that marks various places in our world. Good Friday is indeed a reality for so many in our human family, especially for our brothers and sisters in the Missions.

I think of Zambia in Africa. In four decades of independence, this country has found peace, but not prosperity. Some two-thirds of the populationlives on less than a dollar a day. The economic challenges have been compounded by one of theworld’s most devastating HIV/AIDS epidemics. It is estimated that one million children have been orphaned because of that disease.

But here too there is hope amidst the sufferingand poverty — local Sisters who care for the sick and for children who would otherwise be alone;catechists who announce the “Good News” of God’s great love for each one of us.

Peter Sokohas been a catechist in Zambia for a dozen years. He draws his greatest strength, he’ll tell you, from Mass attendance. Support also comes fromthe people he works with— those to whom hebrings Jesus’ “Good News” — and from his own family.

“Our family prays the Rosary every day,”he explains. “My 14-year-old daughter prays for me, she says, that God should give me wisdom to be an effective catechist. That is my prayer as well.”

May we look to the Missions during our journey this Lent. May we offer special prayers for all who bring to those living in suffering and pain the hope-filled Easter message. And may we, like Peter Soko, pray as well to be effective witnesses of God’s abiding love, to be better missionaries!

Monsignor John E. Kozar, National Director

February 2010


Family. It is, perhaps, what comes to mindmost often during the Christmas Season. So at this time of year then, I think often of my visits with our mission family. I recall, for example, the time I spent in several refugee camps in eastern Nepal, where many with Nepalese roots who were forced out of Bhutan came to settle. The people in these camps, poor but rich in their generous, loving hearts, welcomed me inside their homes.

I spoke with school children, and witnessed the compassionate care offered by local priests and Religious. I remember as well meeting Sisters and seminarians in Myanmar, and seeing firsthand their loving service. Many Sisters are involved in hospital ministry and home visitation.

I was inspired by one stop at a home for persons with a wide range of disabilities, physical and mental. I was so touched by the loving care offered by Sisters to each of the residents of that home, from the very young to the elderly.

Family in need. Family offering loving service. And through it all, you are there — at Christmas and all through the year — supporting, in prayer and generous sacrifice, the Church in the Missions in its outreach to the poor. May the hope and peace of the Lord be with you in the coming year!

Monsignor John E. Kozar, National Director

January 2010

My Shoes

My shoes. On a recent mission visit to Sri Lanka, many of the children I met were fascinated by my shoes. For these children, it was perhaps seeing shoes of any kind. And these were shoes with ties, a sight even more uncommon. Once home, I started to think about just how many pairs of shoes I and those I know own. My experience with those children reminded me to be even more grateful to the Lord for the blessings in my life — and too to be ever willing to make a sacrifice for someone in need, particularly our mission family.

Also while I was in Sri Lanka, especially during my time with Religious Sisters at a home for girls, I was struck by the prayerfulness of the young people there. Daily, the Sisters gathered the children for prayer; many of them were not Catholic, but they responded to the Sisters’ invitation with great willingness and respect. How beautiful is the witness of these Sisters to these young girls. And my own faith was deeply affected by the girls’ response to that witness, and by their innate yearning to know our Lord, the one Savior of the world.

Shoes and the sacred. Sacrifice and prayer. Two dimensions of my recent mission visit – and really of our own commitment to the Church’s worldwide mission. May the Lord bless you for your generous missionary hearts, which respond with abundant prayer and sacrifice tothe needs of the Missions!

Monsignor John E. Kozar, National Director

November 2009

Sharing Stories

Sharing stories. So much of what we do at the Pontifical Mission Societies is about just that. In our magazine, MISSION, and on this newly re-designed website, we tell the inspiring stories of faith from the Developing World.

Each of us, by Baptism, is an important partof the mission story — of continuing Pentecost today, telling the world the “Good News” of Jesus’ love. Our prayers and sacrifices support the Sisters on the island of Nias in Indonesia who staff an orphanage and school, and who regularly visit a home for handicapped and disabled children there. Our help also reaches St. Anthony’s Seminary in Jos, Nigeria, where young men preparing for the priesthood serve inlocal parishes, hospitals and prisons. Our assistance helps to buy Bibles for those in faith formation programs in Tanjore in south India and to purchase bicycles for catechists in Mali, as they journey to scattered villages proclaiming our Lord’s messageof hope and salvation.

As we celebrate World Mission Sunday on October 18, we and Catholics throughout the world recommit ourselves to our vocation to b emissionaries, to share our faith — and to do our part in continuing the mission story. May God bless you!

Monsignor John E. Kozar, National Director

October 2009

Two Missionaries

Two missionaries, two parts of the world. Both Incarnate Word Fathers stopped by our new national office in early August. Father Ruben Quisver had been a visitor last year, telling of his service then in the Sudan in Africa. It was, however, the first time we met Father WalterPereyra-Gmelin, a missionary in Greenland.

These days Father Ruben continues his workin Africa, but now in northern Kenya. He and another missionary priest are involved with primary evangelization in this East African country.

“We are teaching the very basics of our faith,” he explained. Like he did in the Sudan, Father Ruben first built a small chapel where the immediate community could gather for prayer. But many more people are scattered throughout the surrounding villages. Reaching them on foot is difficult, and so Father Ruben is trying to obtain adequate transportation in order to best serve the poor here.

“We are building the Church for the future,” he told me.

Father Walter has the distinction of serving in the only Catholic church in Greenland, he told me.

There are very few Catholics, and they are scattered throughout the vast land area. Most of the people he meets are very curious, not only about the Catholic Church but also about his own priestly vocation.

He answers their questions, of course, and tries always to give witness to Jesus’ love and peace. Two different missionary circumstances, but through each, those hungry for our Lord’s loving presence and His ‘“Good News” are filled. By your own prayers and sacrifices, you are with missionaries throughout Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands and Latin America as they also, day after day, offer such hope-filled service to the poor and suffering.

Monsignor John E. Kozar, National Director

Amazing Journeys

Amazing journeys. These have characterized my experiences these past several weeks. The national office of the Pontifical Mission Societies made a historic journey on July 10, moving from its Fifth Avenue location to the eighth floor of 70 West 36th Street in New York City, realizing a long-time dream of owning our own space.

No monies from donations were used for this purchase or our move; financing was provided from a special fund created with reserves these many years, just for this purpose. Owning this new space helps save on eve escalating rental costs, and provides a space better suited to our staffing needs and to serving the ultimate beneficiaries of our work — the local mission churches which help the poor and suffering of the Developing World.

While the national office family left the location that the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen had moved us into in June 1954, I was on another journey, accompanying my local bishop and 10 seminarians from Pittsburgh on a mission pastoral visit to Chimbote, Peru. For some 50 years, my home diocese has had missionaries working in that part of this South American country.

As our group made the journey from shanty to shanty in one slum after another in Peru, we were greeted by the poorest of the poor with amazing smiles and a warm, inviting welcome to come into their “homes.”

The spirit of welcome confounded us at first and eventually overwhelmed us, when we realized the source of their joy-filled response — their great faith in Jesus, a faith we share as God’s one family.

I hope that as part of our “one family in mission,” you can visit us one day at our new home, so we too can express this same faith-filled welcome and hospitality.

Monsignor John E. Kozar, National Director

Good News From Africa

“Good News” from Africa. That‘s what I heard from Sister Pauline Chirchirillo, PBVM, director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in New York, after her mission visit to Zambia in mid-June. A country of orphans and a place of extreme poverty, Zambia is one of the seven countries hardest hit by the HIV / AIDS pandemic.

But there is hope amidst the suffering and poverty — through the service of local priests, Religious Sisters and Brothers, and lay catechists like those Sister Pauline met on her journey. In several places receiving help from the young people of our country through the Holy Childhood Association, Sister Pauline marveled at the “excellent, loving care” offered to orphans and to physically challenged children, as well as to mothers and children.

At other stops — minor and major seminaries, and convents, all funded by the Society of St. Peter Apostle — she observed, “I am more convinced than ever of the importance of the summer appeal to our donors for support of this particular Pontifical Mission Society.”

Throughout her journey, Sister Pauline witnessed the faith-filled difference each of you who supports the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and those other Pontifical Mission Societies makes in the lives of the poor.

After reading each of her email updates to me, I said a prayer of thanks for the “Good News” from Africa — and for the loyal support from the “one family in mission” here at home and throughout the world for the Church on that continent, as well as Asia, the Pacific Islands and remote regions of Latin America.

Monsignor John E. Kozar, National Director

A Missionary Meeting

Prayerful greetings! As I write this message to you, I have just completed the spring meeting of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Rome, Italy. During this annual gathering, the world’s national
directors — including those from the Missions — gather to review and then distribute your financial sacrifices to meet the greatest pastoral and evangelizing needs of the young churches of the Developing World.

A highlight of this meeting is always our time with the Holy Father, in whose name and under whose leadership we distribute the help offered by the Catholics of our country and, indeed, the whole world.

This year, our time with Pope Benedict XVI included his special embrace to the national director of Myanmar, expressing his fatherly concern for all in that stricken country, and offering special prayers for those who lost their lives in the recent cyclone, as well as for those who suffer.

All of us national directors expressed similar sentiments, bringing with us the prayers of all the world’s faithful toward that end. During the days of our meeting, we distributed aid to mission dioceses in Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands and remote regions of Latin America.

Assistance was given for young women in formation to become Religious Sisters in Zambia and India, for parishes and schools in Pakistan and Tanzania, for seminarians preparing to serve their people as priests in Indonesia and Ghana, for Religious Communities serving in Africa and Asia in the fields of education, health care and social ministries, and for catechists proclaiming the “Good News” of Jesus throughout the Missions, to name just a few areas where your prayers and sacrifices have reached.

Know that during this process, each of you in this “one family in mission” was there with me, most especially as I carried also your prayers for your brothers and sisters throughout the Developing World. May the Lord bless you for your missionary hearts!

Monsignor John E. Kozar, National Director

May 2008

Pentecost Continues!

Pentecost is truly a time of celebration for missionaries. It is the commemoration of our founding as a Church and the continuing mandate from Christ to spread the “Good News” to all those waiting to hear about Jesus Christ. It is the missionary event that set everything into motion. But Pentecost did not end the day that it took place. Rather, it marked merely the beginning of the missionary Church of Jesus.

We celebrate with Pentecost not just an event that happened almost two-thousand years ago, but the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit within the Church and within each of us as baptized members of this Church. What happened to the first Apostles at Pentecost continues in our time as each of us receives the sacrament of Confirmation, when the Holy Spirit enflames our minds and hearts with the fullness of his gifts. Like the Apostles, we can do amazing things in the name of the Lord.

Too often we think of missionaries as “other people” who are given special gifts to do wonderful things for Christ. Our Lord has, in fact, asked each one of us through our Baptism, to become missionaries at home and in far away places. We participate in our missionary vocation through our prayers, good works and our financial gifts and, in special instances, with our missionary presence in foreign lands.

Let the gifts of the Holy Spirit be at work in your life. Share Christ with those in your family, with your friends, with your co-workers, even with your enemies. Don’t be afraid to be a missionary. Let the celebration of Pentecost continue.

Monsignor John E. Kozar, National Director

May 2008

The Reality of "Good Friday"

Prayerful greetings in this Lenten Season! As we continue to mark this time of prayer and sacrifice in preparation for Easter, I cannot help but be struck by the reality of “Good Friday” in our world — especially in the Missions.

In recent messages from the Missions and in stories from FIDES, the news service of the Pontifical Mission Societies, we learn of so many examples of suffering in the Developing World: civil unrest continuing in Kenya, refugees flooding nations surrounding Darfur in the Sudan, natural disasters and violence occurring in various parts of Asia and Africa. And yet, in the midst of it all, there is the Church and those who serve her mission, reminding all of the hope of Jesus’ Resurrection.

I recall a visit one recent spring with Franciscan Sisters serving in El Salvador. There I saw
firsthand both the effects of a long and bloody civil war and the remnants of a devastating earthquake.

Good Friday experiences, to be sure. But my time there also gave me a wonderful vantage point to feel the power and hope brought to so many believers through their faith in Jesus and through the word and witness of missionaries, like those Franciscan Sisters.

One Sunday afternoon, in a village almost completely destroyed by an earthquake, three generations of faithful gathered to have catechism classes in their half-built modest chapel. The grandparents were instructing little ones, and all the older children were also helping in this role of evangelization.

They would pass on the faith — the greatest gift they could give to their loved ones, in good times and bad.

As we continue on our Lenten journey, be assured that your own prayers and sacrifices — your almsgiving, as our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI stresses in his message for Lent — help continue the Church’s mission of sharing our faith with a waiting world. Your support also provides for the work of priests, Sisters, Brothers, and lay catechists as they bring to the “Good Friday” experiences of the poor and suffering the hope-filled “Good News” of the Resurrection.

May the Lord bless you and those you love, especially at Easter!

Monsignor John E. Kozar, National Director March 2008


Many thanks to Admiral J. Robert Lunney, USA, for suggesting us to write about Msgr. John Kozar,
and to Mr. Robert Pape from CNEWA, for his kind help.

Formated for CROWN by prof.dr. Darko Žubrinić
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