Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is an international Catholic charity under papal jurisdiction, which yearly offers financial support to more than 5,000 projects worldwide. Catholic charities like ACN support the poor and persecuted Church with prayer, pastoral relief and material assistance. Help is given to refugees of all denominations.
Our Founder - Fr Werenfried van Straaten
Aid to the Church in Need was founded in 1947 by a Dutch Norbetine priest, Fr. Werenfried van Straaten. He lived to the ripe old age of 91 and died on the 31st of January 2003 after a short illness.
Fr Werenfried was known to many as the "Bacon Priest" due to his efforts after WWII to help keep alive 3,000 priests and over 6 million Catholics expelled from Eastern Europe into the protestant areas of West Germany. In those desperate years a campaign for bacon and other items was started to help relieve the sufferings of these refugees and 'rucksack priests' as Fr Werenfried called them.
Fr Werenfried was the Catholic Church's most successful beggar. Since 1947 he raised and gave away more than $(US)3 billion dollars to help the persecuted and menaced Church and to assist refugees fleeing from oppression.
Set up of the Australian Office
branch of Aid to the Church in Need was set up in 1963 by Fr. Christopher Coenen,
O.Praem. a personal friend of Fr Werenfriend. In 1968 the Collignon family was
asked to continue the work and have been doing so ever since.
ABN: 62 418 911 594
The sole sources of income are the donations, gifts and legacies of private benefactors. They are kept informed of the
work of ACN and related news via our bi-monthly newsletter called the MIRROR.