UN`s official on Syria tells Bonner


UN`s official on Syria tells Bonner
U.N.’s official on Syria tells Bonner-Prendie of road to peace
By Lou Baldwin
Most, including himself, are fluent in several lanWhen United Nations official Kevin M. Kenguages but as a practical matter English is genernedy, the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator
ally understood by all.
for the Crisis in Syria, visited Msgr. Bonner and
He does find in other countries and especially
Archbishop Prendergast High School in Drexel
in Europe that people tend to be more informed
Hill on March 29 to address the student body, he
on foreign affairs than in the U.S.
was on familiar turf.
“What happens overseas, such as just hapHe graduated from Msgr. Bonner in 1965,
pened in Brussels, has a direct impact on the
the same year his wife Kathleen graduated from
safety and security of the United States,” he said.
then-adjoining Archbishop Prendergast High
Right now in his sector there is the very difSchool for Girls. But they didn’t meet each other
ficult task of trying to broker a peace agreement
until they both attended West Chester College,
between the various factions in Syria, leading to
which is not surprising, considering the coma new government.
bined graduating classes for the two sister high
A challenge is that the various parties not only
schools was about 1,800.
disagree but they refuse to meet face to face, and
After a distinguished career of 25 years as an
the negotiators led by the Russian Federation
officer in the United States Marines, including U.N. official Kevin Kennedy and the United States must meet with them sepacommand of the 2nd Battalion 5th Marines for speaks to students March 29 at rately.
the liberation of Kuwait during the first Gulf his alma mater, Bonner-PrendAlso, some countries’ leadership, including the
ergast High School, that peace United States, believe the current harsh dictatorWar, he retired with the rank of colonel.
He joined the United Nations staff in 1993, may eventually come to Syria. ship led by Bashar Assad must be replaced.
(Sarah Webb)
concentrating on humanitarian emergencies
Others, including the Russian Federation, bearound the globe. This has taken him to Africa,
lieve a replacement could lead to a more militant
Asia, the South Pacific and the Middle East.
form of Islam than Assad’s Alawite sect, which could further destaHis humanitarian work can be just as dangerous as active milibilize the region.
tary service.
“Is there hope for peace?” a student asked.
In 2003, when a car bomb destroyed the U.N. headquarters in
“People do get tired of fighting eventually and stop fighting, but
Baghdad killing about two dozen people, including the U.N. envoy,
it won’t be soon,” Kennedy said.
he immediately flew there and successfully organized the recovery.
In the meantime, “the power of prayer is important; keep prayKennedy, who spoke and took questions from an assembly of
ing for peace in Syria,” he advised.
all the Bonner-Prendie students this week, also spoke at two Ad“We touched on this situation in class but this was much more
vanced Placement Government classes taught by Charlie Wieners.
in-depth,” observed Michael Mercanti, a Bonner-Prendie senior.
Working with the U.N. has been easier from a family standpoint
“He worked in that situation and brought it home to us.”
because when he was in the Marines he and Kathleen were raising
In all of the presentations the questions centered around Kenfour children and “we had to move 17 times,” Kennedy said.
nedy’s U.N. work and as sophomore Jake McGillen explained, “I
He noted similarities between the work done by the military and
wanted to learn more about this than the military. He knew what
that of the U.N. “They are both non-profit working in the public
he was talking about and passed that knowledge on to us.”
sector,” he said, adding the Marines are more structured and the
Katie Innamorato, a senior, plans to focus in college on environU.N. somewhat more flexible.
mental science, not political science, but “as general knowledge it
His has an international staff and often he is the only American
was very interesting and it was definitely good for me to be here,”
in the room, although his co-workers are intelligent and dedicated.
she said.
See more Catholic news at our website, www.CatholicPhilly.com
Pa. bill would ban late-term
dismemberment abortions
A bill introduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives would
ban abortions after 20 weeks’ gestation and all abortion procedures in
which the fetus is dismembered.
Because medical science has determined a fetus can feel stimulation in
the womb after 20 weeks and especially pain, western Pa. Republican Rep.
Kathy Rapp introduced House Bill 1948
on March 31 to amend the Abortion
Control Act and ban such abortions.
Cosponsoring with Rapp are 100
Democratic and Republican members of the House.
“Dismemberment abortions,” she
wrote in a memo accompanying the
bill, “occur when a baby’s life is terminated by removing their limbs. As the
baby is capable of feeling pain at these
gestational ages, it is unconscionable
for us to continue to allow them.
“This legislation is focused on protecting the unborn child from pain
and the mother from additional complications.”
The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference said in a statement that the
mother bears increased health risks
of complications including infection
and laceration from such a late-term
abortion after 20 weeks.
Currently dismemberment abortions are allowed in the state until 24
weeks, or about six months’ gestation.
“It’s time to update Pa.’s laws to be
in line with the will of most Americans as well as medical advancements
that reveal the baby’s ability to feel
pain and live outside the womb,” the
statement read. “And we should con-
tinue to work to support women and
men who are faced with unplanned
pregnancies, so that they don’t feel
abortion is their only option.”
The PCC encouraged state residents
to support the measure by contacting their representative in the House.
Visit the website www.pacatholic.org
for more details.
Catholics of archdiocese
donate $645K to retired
Catholics of the Philadelphia Archdiocese showed their support for retired religious sisters, brothers and
priests by raising $645,385 last year,
80 percent of which, or $516,308,
remained in the archdiocese for the
care of religious here.
The balance of $129,077 was sent to
the national 2015 Retirement Fund
for Religious, for which Archbishop Charles Chaput received a letter
of thanks March 23 from Precious
Blood Sister Janice Bader, executive
director of the fund.
Over the past 28 years of the collection, faithful of the archdiocese have
donated more than $4 million to the
national collection alone.
More than 33,000 retired religious
women and men in the United States
benefit from the annual collection by
Catholics across the country.
The United States Conference of
Catholic Bishops approves collections for the fund in 10-year cycles,
and 2017 is the last of the current cycle. Sister Janice’s letter noted that the
bishops’ Commission on Religious
Life and Ministry “is studying both
the progress made and the continued
need” for the fund, she wrote.
The commission is expected to present its findings at the November 2016
meeting of the USCCB in Baltimore.
Data suggest the need for generous support of retired religious will
be crucial for the foreseeable future.
Of the 49,000 women religious in the
U.S. in 2014, 69 percent are over age
70 and 91 percent are over age 60,
according to CARA (Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at
Georgetown University).
Sister Janice wrote that retired religious have pledged to remember the
fund’s contributors in daily prayer.
“I join my prayers with theirs,” she
wrote, “and I again thank you and the
faithful of your archdiocese for this
generosity and continuing support.
May our loving God grant you blessings in abundance!”
Outdoor procession to
honor Mary set for May 1
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia
invites everyone to honor the Blessed
Virgin Mary on Sunday, May 1 with
a Liturgy of the Word in the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul followed by an outdoor May procession,
rosary and crowning of a statue of the
Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Mercy. The celebration for the second annual procession, held during the
Catholic Church’s Year of Mercy, begins at 2 p.m. in the cathedral, 18th
Street and the Benjamin Franklin
Parkway in Philadelphia.
The theme of the procession is,
“Who is the Mary in Your Life?”
More information is available at
www.firstsundayinmay.org. Stay connected at CatholicPhilly.com
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