A Christmas Letter from Iraq

“Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.” Mark 1: 3

As we come this year to celebrate Christmas, we recall the nativity scene of 2014 in the Christian camp in Ankawa- Iraq, which was a tent among the tents of the displaced people who fled ISIS. Now, three years later, many of the displaced people returned home in the Plain of Nineveh, and celebrating Christmas. It has been months since people returned, and from the very beginning, they started removing the remains of war, rebuilding their houses, cleaning churches, and washing streets. They have been doing that with such enthusiasm to

“Prepare the way for the Lord, and make straight paths for him.”

Although the situation is still unsettled, and the towns in the Plain of Nineveh are still disputed lands, people are still hoping that the condition of the country might improve. There is an obvious lack of leadership; a number of churches are still burned and destroyed; many houses are still waiting to be restored. However, there are so many people of good will who are able to look through destruction and see the signs of God’s presence. So, they encourage, they give hand, they inspire, they dare to hope, and by that they

“Prepare the way for the Lord, and make straight paths for him.”

Events of the past three years of displacement, migration, loss, humiliation and poverty, had tremendous effect on us: mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It was time when we felt that we were abruptly cut from the past, and had a very vague vision for the future. But now, after liberation, it is time to extend a bridge between what was experienced and what is hoped. That is why we need to

“Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.”

As a community, realizing that exile could mean more than geographical displacement, we are trying to help people restore their confidence in God, in the Church and in themselves. Many of our sisters are back in the Plain of Nineveh. We have four communities in Telusquf and in Qaraqosh, where sisters are involved in pastoral and educational ministry. Two kindergarten and one school have been open in the Plain of Nineveh. We trust that our presence among our people is meaningful for us and for them, as well. Our unity at this time of our history is needed more than any other time. With this we all may

“Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.”

We are grateful to each one of you who have been helping us and our people to prepare the way for the Lord. Have a very blessed and joyous Christmas.

Dominican Sister of Catherine of Siena –Iraq.
Christmas Eve 2017

How to Help

We’ve been privileged to accompany our Dominican Sisters in Iraq through 17 years of sanctions, war, and displacement. It is with “joyful hope” we share their latest update.

If you would like to help rebuild homes, schools, and other institutions in Qaraqosh, you may make a cash donation at our secure online giving portal. Simply select “Iraq Refugee Relief in the giving designation”. Thank you for your support of our Dominican Family in Iraq!

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