Training for disability professionals at Our Lady of Peace Center

AMMAN – For the first time in 14 years, Our Lady of Peace Center organized a week of training for occupational therapists and physiotherapists from all over the Middle East on August 15 – 19.  The purpose of this training is to improve the care of people with disabilities and to help promote their place in societies where this situation remains at the margins.

The 41 participants from Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, attentively listened to Jane Styer-Acevedo, an American neuro-development specialist, as she taught the basics of physiotherapy and occupational therapy disciplines that are still uncommon in the Middle East. The first goal is to enable better support for patients with disability who are often children, to be better cared for on a daily basis: “learn to walk, dress, brush their teeth or play ball … Trainers must be able to teach children cared for, basic actions,” says Jane Styer-Acevedo. To do this, participants will practice specific exercises that they can replicate with the patients following this session.

For Our Lady of Peace Center and the employees, this week of training is of great importance insofar as it contributes to this institution’s distinctive reputation, of providing free care to more than 2,000 people a year. It is the only Center that offers free service of this magnitude in Jordan. The Center’s director, Sahem Madanat, is aware that beyond the day-to-day care of these children, there is also the concern for better integration of people with disabilities in the Jordanian society and in the Middle East.  New projects are presently being reviewed to consider vocational training for these young people with disabilities, who are today cared for up to the age of 14.

In the context of raising awareness of the disability issues, Our Lady of Peace Center will organize a public walk with the children on September 22.  It is an initiative that had been very successful in the past, thanks to the work of Bishop Selim Sayegh, founder of the Center.

Remy Brun et Claire Guigou

6th Annual Canon Law Conference for Lawyers in Jordan

DEAD SEA – The 6th Annual Canon Law Conference for bishops, judges, lawyers and pastors was held from July 17-23 near the Dead Sea, Jordan.

The Sixth Annual Canonical Conference entitled “Matrimonial consent and defects in marriage, its provisions and the canonical procedures by the Apostolic Letter – Motu Proprio Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus” was held this year from July 17-23, in the Mövenpick Hotel, near the Dead Sea. First launched in 2012, these annual conferences are aimed at training clergy and laity, who serve the Ecclesiastical Court of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and Amman, on the fundamental questions of canon law and in particular this year on the specific topic of matrimonial consent in marriage.

This year, the conference was a success, in addition to the presence of participants from the Latin Patriarchate, there were priests and bishops from various parts of the Near and Middle East such as Syria, Egypt, Lebanon Armenia and Iraq. Addressing the participants, Italian Lawyers of the Lateran University of Rome – Fr. Manuel Arroba Conde, Fr. Antonio Pr. Christian Begus – presented formal discourses.

The purpose of such conferences is to give the faithful – bishops, priests and laity – better training and expertise on issues of great complexity which often cause distress among the faithful as can be the case when a failed marriage. At the complexity of the issues, add a relatively insufficient training of clergy and the lack of sustainable institutions. Hence the need to develop such training, the achievement and success are only made possible by the generosity of donors.

During the conference, the emphasis was placed on the study of the Motu Proprio “Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus” issued by Pope Francis, December 8, 2015, which simplifies the existing canonical procedure concerning requests for the nullity of marriage.

This conference ended with a Mass celebrated by the Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, with concelebrants Bishop William Shomali, Apostolic Vicar for Jordan, and the many priests who attended the conference throughout the week. After the celebration, Archbishop Pizzaballa presented each participant with a certificate.

Remy Brun

Photos: Osama Toubasi