Patricia Richardson, a Trustee of CNT, writes:
At the beginning of October, 2006, I again visited Jordan. Whilst there, I visited many of the Patriarchate schools which have been supported, one way or another by CNT. As usual, I was given a really warm welcome by all, and found in all the schools the usual hive of activity!
The computer lab
One of the towns I visited was Madaba, which lies on the fringes of the desert, overlooking the Dead Computer Room at Madaba Boys’ School – Equipment funded by CNT Sea. Madaba is an ancient town mentioned in the Old Testament as the Moabite town of Medeba. Nearby is Mount Nebo. There are now four Patriarchate schools at Madaba – the Kindergarten, Elementary, Secondary Boys and Secondary Girls Schools. The Secondary Boys School was of particular interest to me, as CNT has recently made a substantial donation towards new computers for their computer laboratory. The school has an excellent academic record, and the new head teacher, Mr. Issa Massar, proudly showed me round his school. The computer lab is now well-furnished up to Government standards, and Mr Massar expressed great gratitude to CNT for our input. However, there are still not enough computers to meet the needs of all the students, and it is envisaged that another computer lab will be built when funding is available.
All the schools I visited were extremely grateful for the help provided by CNT, and all, like Oliver Twist, asked for more! I had to let them down gently and tell them that unfortunately, we do not have an endless supply of funds, but would continue to do what we can. One of the most valuable ways of support is by twinning our Catholic schools and parishes with those in Jordan, and this is what I now try to encourage. I do hope you can help!
A Pilgrimage with a Purpose
Fr Seamus Keenan
In October 2005, Fr Seamus Keenan (left) took a group of his parishioners on pilgrimage to Jordan, Galilee and Jerusalem, beginning with a visit to Misdar School in Amman. He said “Going on pilgrimage is a natural thing to do after such a project. It is good to meet the Christian students we have been helping”
What was this project? Fr Seamus explains, “Shortly after arriving in the parish of St Joseph’s Bedford in 2003, I initiated a project in support of the Christian community in the Holy Land. This took the form of raising funds to help equip and modernise a computer suite in Misdar School, Amman, Jordan, which falls under the responsibility of the Latin Patriarchate; a project organised through the Cambridge Nazareth Trust.” Back in June,
Fr. Emile Seamus
Fr Emile Salayta (right) came to our parish and told us: “This support means so much to the Christians in the Holy Land who at the moment feel isolated from the Christians in the rest of the world”. This helped us appreciate better the needs of the Church there and spurred us to continue our efforts to help. During the pilgrimage, Margaret Waddingham, a teacher, brought along Barnaby Bear to meet the students at Misdar School in their new computer suite funded by the Bedford Parish.
Jumping for Christian Children in the Holy Land
Tony Ockenden OBE, aged 77, who has been to the Holy Land many times in recent years, said that he had always wanted to do a parachute jump and decided 2005 was the year to get on and do it. His family rallied around sponsoring him for a tandem parachute jump at Hinton Sky Diving Centre, near Brackley, Northants on 14 June, 2005.
Caroline Smith and her (then) fiance, Tom Morris, also jumped with him on a memorable day that raised £5,000 for CNT. Tony said: “The jump was a truly fantastic experience for me and I feel somewhat guilty to have raised money for an event that was so personally pleasurable. However, as you know, the education of the Christian children in the Holy Land is close to my heart and the Cambridge Nazareth Trust does wonderful work towards that cause. I was particularly grateful that two Head Teachers of Latin Patriarchate schools in Jordan, Sisters Caroline and Lina (below), were able to be present. And to have more than twenty other family and friends around made the day one I shall not forget in a hurry. I do thank everyone most heartily for their donations and I know the Trustees of the CNT are thrilled with the result.”