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Syria - ACN

Pontifical North American College Students Race & Raise Funds to Help Christians in Iraq and Syria

Discussing Initiative With ACN, Seminarian Joseph Caraway says: “I may never meet the people I’m running for, but that does not stop me from loving them”

In recent days, twelve seminarians studying in Rome at the Pontifical North American College have launched an initiative to support Iraqi and Syrian Christians: a relay race throughout Italy – about 250 kilometers- raising funds for persecuted Christians in the Middle East, reported Aid to the Church in Need. Up to now, there have been offers for more than 11,200 Euros that will be donated to Aid to the Church in Need, to finance interventions in the two countries.

“I may never meet the people I’m running for, but that does not stop me from loving them and helping them through my actions,” one of the seminarians, Joseph Caraway, from Louisiana, told ACS. “A race might seem like a modest act of charity, but I have learned that love for one’s neighbor also passes through small gestures. Solidarity offers a splendid example of the universal Church.

“Anyone can take part in it and anyone can experience the love of Christ through it,” he said.

It is the fourth time that the “Roman runners” team has launched such an initiative.

“Many of us are regular runners and we used to meet before to run or pray together. We consider it a gift and we wanted to offer it to others,” Caraway explained.

“Raising awareness about the Christian persecution is important, but it is not enough,” the seminarian continued. “We must pray for our persecuted brothers and support them concretely.”

This marks the second consecutive time that the collection from the relay is donated to Iraq and Syria and that the seminarians once again wanted that Aid to the Church in Need benefits from the harvest. Noting that ACN has the resources to “support our brothers and make their suffering known throughout the world,” Caraway said: “Together we make a great team!”

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in four languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, and EWTN. For 'The Other Francis': or

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