By John Newton and Sebastian Moll
On the 20th anniversary of his episcopal ordination, a Syrian archbishop offered Mass for all supporters of a Catholic charity that has provided aid since the start of the country’s civil war.
On Sunday (December 20), Syriac-Catholic Archbishop Antoine Chahda of Aleppo said Mass for all the benefactors of Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) at the city’s Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral.
In a message to ACN’s benefactors, Archbishop Chahda said: “We, here in Aleppo, are very grateful for all that you are doing for us, our Christian community, and all those who are going through difficult moments in their lives and need your help.
“Your support helps families to stay in the country.”
Since the beginning of the war in 2011, ACN has supported 326 projects in Aleppo including 53 in 2020.
Projects in the city include restoring its Maronite Cathedral, providing milk for children, scholarship aid for Christian students, food, rent, and other basic essentials for the elderly and other vulnerable people.
ACN has not only given support to the country’s Catholic Churches, but also to other Christian Churches in the region, such as the Syriac Orthodox.
Archbishop Chahda added: “We ask you to continue supporting us, at this particularly difficult time, as Aleppo continues to suffer.”