A Message from National Director Mr Bernard Toutounji

This message was published with Mirror 2 - 2020 - it is published online (for those who elect to receive The Mirror newsletter via email and not a printed copy in the post).

 

 

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Dear friend in Christ,

This edition of the Mirror brings to our minds and hearts those men and women religious who have left all to follow Christ. Still today, congregations of Brothers and Sisters go out to share and nourish the faith on every continent. Their own lives though are not easy, many of these communities struggle to provide for themselves.

What struck me in reading the Mirror is that these men and women do not give up. They trust in the Lord, in His call upon their lives, and in His providence. Of course, the providence of the Lord most often comes through the hands of others.

Each year - and only with your help - Aid to the Church in Need is able to support some 11,000 religious men and women to live their vocation. Can you help us to support the Sisters and Brothers who take our faith out to the world?  Could you commit to a monthly offering?

Support for men and women religious

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In wanting to offer you a spiritual gift of thanks for all you do for the suffering Church, we have been able to secure a small supply of beautiful wooden icon eggs, handmade in Kiev. 

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Icons are an ancient part of the Christian faith; in fact, they are the oldest form of Christian art. An icon is not simply a religious picture; they are meant to be windows into Heaven. The combination of sacred icons with eggs, the symbol of Easter, led to the development of icon eggs. Icon eggs are tangible reminders of faith and sources of comfort. You might give one as a gift to encourage the faith of a loved one, or perhaps it will be a devotional item in your own home or office. I ask you to consider making a generous offering and invite you to receive an icon egg in return (but please reply back quickly as we have only been able to obtain half the quantity we would usually seek).

Just days ago, to begin the penitential season of Lent; Catholics around the world were marked with ashes. I have long been struck by the words of the priest as he applies the ashes, 'Remember you are dust and unto dust you shall return'. It is a striking reality to consider that one day our bodies - bodies that we adorn and take such magnificent care of - will be no more than a pile of dust. Two things will live on; our soul, and the legacy of faith we have imparted to our family, friends, and God-willing, to countless others who we helped win over by our prayers, fasting and almsgiving.

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And therein lies the unique beauty of the mission of Aid to the Church in Need. Our work is not primarily concerned with physical life, but with eternal life. You make a physical offering to support an order of nuns, build a church, or train seminarians, however the result is not physical but spiritual and everlasting. It is the simple reason I cannot offer you tax deductibility; the government does not give financial incentives on charitable gifts that concern Heaven. However, you and I know the value of these gifts, which is why you are associated with ACN. So this Lent, as you pray, fast and offer alms, remember that all of this is about eternity for you, me and all those who we will never know in this life but who will rejoice with us in the company of the Holy Trinity for all eternity.

Lastly, we have produced this year, Easter cards featuring the paintings of Swiss artist Bradi Barth (1922-2007), who herself was a benefactor of Aid to the Church in Need. Each packet contains 12 quality cards and envelopes, a mix of three different images, four cards of each image (see above). The cards contain a scripture verse & a spiritual greeting inside {size 10.5cm x 14.8cm). You are able to order them from our online store or over the phone 1800 101 201. Please consider purchasing a pack or two. By doing so you will support suffering Christians, share your faith and share the work of ACN.

Every prayer for a blessed Lent,


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God Bless you, 

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Bernard Toutounji
National Director
ACN Australia.

 Go back to the Mirror newsletter here.

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