Featured Projects in March 2020 

Success Story: A moped for a priest - Sierra Leone
Help for the formation of 61 seminarians in the north of the country, an area in the grip of Islamist terror - Burkina Faso
500 Bibles for the prison apostolate - Peru 
Help for the "Saint John the Merciful Table", a Catholic food kitchen for refugees and the poor in Zahleh on the Syrian border - Lebanon

internet projects icons March 2020

 

Sierra Leone

Success Story: A Moped for a priest

The country of Sierra Leone in West Africa has barely seen a time of peace in recent years. The brutal civil war, which raged from 1991 to 2002, claimed thousands of human lives and left behind widespread devastation, the traces of which can still be seen to this day. The economy and the infrastructure were ruined, and over 70% of the country‘s 7 million population are living in poverty today.

The situation was made still worse by the terrible Ebola epidemic in 2014 and by a series of natural disasters. As a result the Church was forced for many years to focus on the concrete day-to-day needs of the population. However, now the focus is shifting once again increasingly back to the psychological and spiritual rebuilding of the nation. Since the only way to a better future is first of all to prepare the ground through inner conversion of the individual and the renewal of his relationship with God.

One of the priests working in the service of the Gospel is Father Paul Karim. Since his ordination in February 2019 he has been working in the parish of Saint Charles Lwanga in the city of Bo, in the south of the country. With a population of over 200,000 it is the second largest city in the country after the capital, Freetown.

The parish also includes a number of villages and smaller settlements in the surrounding area, some of them up to 15 miles (24 km) from the parish centre. Father Paul celebrates Holy Mass in these various villages, visiting the sick and elderly and bringing them the sacraments, ministering to the schools and also taking part in various parish gatherings.

Until recently there was only one vehicle in the entire parish, which meant that the young Father Paul often had difficulty in reaching some of the communities where he was needed. However, thanks to the generosity of our benefactors, we were able to give him $1560 AUD to enable him to purchase a moped. So now his work is much easier, and the people of the parish are happy that he can get to see them more quickly and more frequently. Our heartfelt thanks to all who helped!

ACN 20200121 96320 Easy Resize

Motorcycle for Fr Paul Karim to facilitate his pastoral work in St. Charles Lwanga Parish.
C
opyright: Aid to the Church in Need

Burkina Faso

Help for the formation of 61 seminarians in the north of the country, an area in the grip of Islamist terror

The diocese of Ouahigouya lies in the north of Burkina Faso, a region that has suffered repeated attacks by Islamist terrorists in the past year. And these attacks and massacres are continuing. Many people have been forced to flee, following the attacks of the jihadist terrorists.

Nonetheless, despite the dangers and the spreading sense of fear, there are 61 young men from the diocese who are continuing their training for the priesthood in these difficult circumstances. The local people are very supportive of these young men, whose vocations have sprung from their own communities. They pray regularly for the seminarians and also bring gifts in kind in order to help them, even though they themselves often have barely enough to live on. The families of the seminarians also help support them with whatever they can give.

But now many families have been forced to flee as a result of the terrorism. Having left almost everything behind that they relied on to support themselves, they now have nothing and can no longer support the seminarians. At the same time, the priests in the parishes are struggling to support the many people who have lost everything.

ACN is helping again this year with a contribution of $52,000 AUD for the support of these courageous young men, who are determined to continue their studies for the priesthood, despite the danger to life and limb.

ACN 20200115 96066 Easy Resize

 Mgr Bishop Justin Kientega (the Bishop of Ouahigouya, Burkina Faso) with the seminarians.
Copyright: Aid to the Church in Need

If you would like to fund this project please copy and paste this code in the comment box in the online donation form:
Code: 125-02-79

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Lebanon

Help for the "Saint John the Merciful Table", a Catholic food kitchen for refugees and the poor in Zahleh on the Syrian border

St John the Merciful was a 6th-7th century saint, noted for his generosity to the poor and suffering. Wherever he saw a need, he strove with all his resources to help. By the time he became patriarch of Alexandria he was feeding some 7900 poor people every day. He died in the year 619 and is honoured today as a saint both by Catholic and by Orthodox Christians.

The feeding programme named after him is run by the Melkite Catholic Church in the Lebanese town of Zahleh, close to the Syrian border. The centre has been up and running since December 2015 and is a place of welcome for all those who cannot afford a hot meal every day – including many Syrian refugees, but at the same time a growing number of Lebanese also.

Every day around 1000 people are given a hot meal here. Some 800 or so come to the centre themselves to eat, while another 200 or so, who are handicapped, frail, elderly or sick, are visited at home by volunteers from the centre, with a hot meal – and also with words of spiritual comfort and human warmth.

The idea is to provide food not only for the body but also for the soul and offer spiritual and psychological support to those who need it. The project represents an important contribution to the effort to prevent the emigration of Christians from the region, since otherwise many of these people would likely be forced to try and move abroad in order to feed themselves and their families.

ACN is supporting this excellent project once again this year, with a total of $1,523,119 AUD

ACN 20190612 88490 Easy Resize

ACN 20190612 88461 Easy Resize

Humanitarian Feeding program "Saint John the Merciful Table" for Syrian refugees and others in Zahle area and Bekaa Valley.
Photographer: Leyre Menéndez-Ros>
Copyright: Aid to the Church in Need

If you would like to fund this project please copy and paste this code in the comment box in the online donation form:
Code: 326-09-59

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Argentina

Mass stipends for the support of 24 Redemptorist priests

The Redemptorist congregation has around 5,300 members today and is present in 78 countries around the world. Originally, its work was devoted above all to the popular missions and other pastoral duties, but over the course of time it has extended its field of activities. In Argentina, for example, the congregation cares above all for the poor in the urban peripheries, notably in the suburban shantytowns of Buenos Aires and in the rural regions

The number of those in need is steadily increasing. Sadly, the largely unsuccessful economic reforms of the government of Mauricio Macri, now voted out of power, have only tended to increase the poverty of large sections of the Argentinian population. Today around 40% of the approximately 44.7 million population of the country are living in poverty. The economic crisis is likewise impacting on the local Church, which has fewer and fewer resources available for serving the people.

ACN is proposing to help 24 priests of the Redemptorist congregation with Mass stipends. They will celebrate these Holy Masses for the intentions of the benefactors who have given them and receive a small stipend to support their life and ministry. Many of those concerned are frail and elderly priests who have worked tirelessly all their lives in the service of God and neighbour. Some of them now need 24-hour care.

We are therefore sending Mass intentions to a value of $20,600 AUD for these 24 priests, which means that each of them will receive just $860 AUD for the entire year.

Code: 209-04-masses

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Peru

500 Bibles for the prison apostolate

As in many other parts of the world, so too in Latin America the prisons are hopelessly overfilled and conditions within them are extremely hard.

For example, the prison in Callao, Peru, was designed for 1500 prisoners but currently holds 5,600. For these prisoners the Catholic prison outreach is a real blessing. Twice a week, those who wish to participate come together for a joint Lectio Divina, while Holy Mass is celebrated every week for a congregation of up to 800 prisoners. And there are also Holy Masses for the major feasts of the Church year.

Bishop José Luis del Palacio Peréz-Medel has himself frequently visited the prison. When he travelled to Rome to meet Pope Francis in 2018, he brought with him a letter from the prisoners. The Pope answered the letter personally and encouraged them all, despite all past failures and weaknesses, to believe and trust in the help and Mercy of Christ.

A vital and indispensable part of this outreach, which helps those concerned to a better and deeper knowledge of God‘s love and mercy, is the reading of Holy Scripture. But needless to say, the inmates and their families are too poor to afford a Bible. Already in 2017, thanks to the help of ACN, 500 Bibles were distributed among them. Now, thanks to the generosity of our benefactors, we are once again able to contribute $8,652 AUD, so that another 500 copies of the sacred scriptures can be made available for the prison outreach programme.

For all the inmates this has been a great joy and consolation, and the bishop has written to us to say that his priests working in the prison ministry are also delighted. The Bibles are used for the sessions of Lectio Divina and for catechetical instruction of those preparing for baptism.

Our heartfelt thanks to all who have helped!

ACN 20200127 96543 Easy Resize


Purchase of Bibles for the formations of prisoners in the Sarita Colonia jail.
Bibles to the penitentiary "Sarita Colony" of Callao.
Copyright Aid to the Church in Need.

If you would like to fund this project please copy and paste this code in the comment box in the online donation form:
Code: 234-00-49

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 Ukraine

Help to complete a parish centre in Voyutychi

The Church in Ukraine still suffers to this day from the consequences of the Soviet persecution. Many of the Church properties that were confiscated by the communists have still not been returned to this day; others have been returned, but in a pitiful condition. Only little by little is it possible to repair and restore them, or, where they are beyond repair, or no longer exist, to build replacement churches.

The Latin-rite Catholic parish of Saint Katharine of Alexandria is situated in Voyutychi, in West Ukraine, within the Lviv administrative district. It was reopened in 1990, following the political changes. However, it has been a long journey to completely restore the church. The presbytery, by contrast, was in such a poor condition that it could only be demolished. To this day the priests have to live in cramped and unsuitable conditions above the sacristy of the church, since they have nowhere else to live.


Nor is there any suitable place for the many and varied activities of this lively parish community, which serves 148 families. Until now all of these activities – the children‘s and youth groups, the altar servers‘ group, the old people‘s club, the Legion of Mary, the parish choir and many others have had to cope with inadequate conditions, which is, of course, hampering their work in the long term.
It was therefore decided to build a new parish centre that would at the same time provide living accommodation for the two priests and also furnish the necessary space for the various different groups to conduct all their many and varied activities. Building work has already begun. The parish priest, Father Victor Palczynski has asked for our help. We are making a contribution of $17,600 AUD so that the building can soon be ready for use.

ACN 20200108 95574 Easy Resize

Construction of a catechetical center for the St. Catherine parish in Voyutychi.
Copyright Aid to the Church in Need.

If you would like to fund this project please copy and paste this code in the comment box in the online donation form:
Code: 438-01-19

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