Featured Projects in October 2019
*Malawi: Mission accomplished: emergency aid following the severe flooding in March 2019
*Egypt: Help for the formation of four seminarians of the SMA missionaries
*India: Help for the formation of 23 seminarians
In March 2019 many areas of southern Malawi were struck by devastating floods. Torrential rainfall continued for days on end, affecting almost 1 million people in 16 of the 28 districts of the country, which is already one of the poorest nations in the world. Around 80,000 people lost their homes, while over 500 people were injured and some 60 died. Houses, fields, roads and bridges were damaged or destroyed.
The Catholic Church was immediately on the spot, ready to provide spiritual and moral support. However, there was also a need for food, clothing, blankets and temporary shelters, as well as for cooking utensils and water purification systems in order to prevent the spread of diseases.
ACN also responded immediately, thanks to the generosity of our benefactors, and was able to provide AUD $32,482 in emergency aid. Our heartfelt thanks to all who contributed!
Emergency assistance for southern Malawi - flooding after cyclone Idai Copyright: Aid to the Church in Need
Egypt - Help for the formation of four seminarians of the SMA missionaries
The Society of African Missions (SMA Fathers) was founded in 1856 as a society of priests committed to serving and evangelising the people of the African continent. Whereas in the past its members were overwhelmingly drawn from Europe and North America, today the majority of its vocations come from Asia and Africa itself. There are around 860 priests belonging to the SMA today, and their members are active in 16 different countries of Africa. One of these priests is the Italian missionary Pierluigi Maccalli, who was abducted in September 2018 in Niger, in West Africa.
Formation of four seminarians - Society of African Missions, 2019 Copyright: Aid to the Church in Need
One of the formation houses of the SMA Fathers is the seminary of Saint Mark in the Egyptian capital Cairo. Each year a group of seminarians comes to study here in order to gain experience of living in a Muslim environment. This helps them to prepare for their pastoral service to the Christian minorities in various different Islam-majority countries of Africa and the Middle East.
The young men who have come to Cairo for this part of their formation have already made their temporary vows. After this year in Cairo they will go to other countries to complete their studies.
This year there are four SMA seminarians following this formation year in Cairo. Their superiors have asked for financial support towards their travel costs, board and lodging and also for their courses in Arabic. We are helping with AUD $3248
India - Help for the formation of 23 seminarians
The Congregation of the Holy Cross was founded in 1820 in France when, following the French Revolution, an entire generation of young people was growing up almost without any religious formation. Father Jacques Dujarie, who had been ordained in secret during the time of the revolution, gathered around him a group of young men dedicated to the religious instruction of young people in the country areas. Within 20 or 30 years the resulting religious congregation had spread as far as Algeria, the United States, Italy and East Bengal (which now includes parts of India and Bangladesh).
Today the congregation is present and active in 16 countries. Its religious brothers and priests devote themselves to the religious instruction and general education of young people. They also run many schools, since they see the formation of the spirit as the essential foundation for the tackling of the pressing problems of the present day, from a perspective of faith.
Formation of Seminarians Fathers of the Holy Cross, CSC - Province of South India Copyright: Aid to the Church in Need
The congregation is particularly active in India, where it enjoys numerous new vocations. Not surprisingly, therefore, Indian priests of the Holy Cross Congregation are present not only in India but also in other countries, as missionaries. The congregation has four regional provinces within India itself. It recognises the growing importance, in light of the widespread consumerism and globalisation in today‘s world, of helping families and young people to become more deeply rooted in the Christian faith. But in order to achieve this, the priests themselves need to have a sound and solid formation. In the southern Indian province of the congregation there are 23 young men currently studying for the priesthood. ACN is proposing to help them, with a contribution of AUD $11,200 towards the cost of their formation. All of you who help may be assured of the prayers of these seminarians!