The Catholic parish of Minya is still young. It was only in 2012 that the local authorities finally granted a building permit for a church in a new suburb of the city. It is the only Catholic church for the town itself and for the surrounding area. The parish covers a wide area of around 1200 km2, with the result thsat there are many of the Catholic faithful who still live a long way from the church. This has been a major problem in the past, since public transport in Egypt is very expensive and the cost of an entire family regularly attending holy Mass is a heavy drain on the household budget. In any case, the transport system is not very good. So it is by no means unusual for parishes to have their own minibus, so that they can ferry the faithful to church and back. But the young parish of Minya could not afford to buy one, and so the parish priest turned to the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) for help. Without assistance it was almost impossible for many of the parishioners - especially the elderly, children, women and those with physical handicaps or health problems - to get to church, whether to attend Holy Mass, for catechetical sessions or for other reasons.
(The parish priest and children in front of the minibus © Aid to the Church in Need)
Thanks to the generosity of ACN benefactors, the parish was given a grant of $40,000 to purchase a minibus. The parishioners each contribute a small amount in return for this service - whatever they can afford - as a contribution towards the running and maintenance costs. At the same time the bus serves as a school bus for the children from the remoter villages. The Catholic faithful are delighted and ask us to convey their heartfelt thanks to all our benefactors!
The vital work of Catholic charities like Aid to the Church In Need provide a lifeline to the Church wherever she is poor, persecuted or threatened. Please help our work by donating online or send your donation to Aid to the Church in Need, PO Box 7246 Baulkham Hills NSW 2153. Ph: (02) 9679-1929