Featured Projects in May 2020 

Help for the youth and family apostolate of the Salesian brothers in the parish of Adwa
Help for the families of 18 catechists in the diocese of Dori, forced to flee from their homes by Islamist terrorists
Mass stipends for the 32 priests of the Archdiocese of Santiago de Cuba
Help for the training of catechists in the territorial prelature of Chuquibambilla, in the Peruvian Andes
Success Story: 10 Mopeds for pastoral work in the Andaman and Nicobar islands

internet projects icons March 2020

Ethiopia

Help for the youth and family apostolate of the Salesian brothers in the parish of Adwa

Sitting in the east of the continent, on the so-called Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is a country filled with contradictions. On the one hand the country is showing strong economic growth, yet on the other there is widespread deep poverty. Within the national territory there are around 80 different ethnic groups, with widely differing cultures and languages. Some 58% of the 100 million or so population are Orthodox Christians of the Ethiopian rite. Catholics make up barely 2% of the population, although the Catholic Church maintains a great many schools, kindergartens and social care centres.

To take one example, the Salesians of Don Bosco are providing their important work of service in five different regions of Ethiopia. The congregation has been present in Ethiopia since 1975, and is engaged particularly in working to help disadvantaged young people, such as street children for example, providing them with a safe refuge, supporting and educating them and providing them with some form of vocational training.

ACN 20200107 95483 Easy Resize

Financial aid for pastoral activities in favour of Mary Help of Christian parish in Adwa - 2020. Copyright Aid to the Church in Need.

The parish of Our Lady Help of Christians in Adwa, in the northern regional state of Tigray, was established in 1990 and is run today by the Salesians. It serves a community of around 220 Catholic faithful, most of whom live a hand to mouth existence. The average monthly income of most families is equivalent to between 35 and 70 US dollars, which is barely enough to survive on. In addition there are many problems in the families and they need a great deal of support.

The Salesians base their work upon three main pillars – helping the children, the young people and the families.

It is crucially important work, and ACN is proposing to help with a contribution of AUD $25,000 for the current year.

Code: 118-01-49

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Burkina Faso

Help for the families of 18 catechists in the diocese of Dori, forced to flee from their homes by Islamist terrorists

The diocese of Dori lies in the far north of Burkina Faso, in the Sahel region. 95% of the population here are Muslims, while Christians make up only a tiny and widely scattered minority.

Since 2015 the north of the country has been plagued by a wave of Islamist terrorism, leaving over 750,000 people homeless and over 1000 schools closed. And the crisis is continuing, with an average of 4000 people still fleeing every day from the continuing terrorist attacks. There have been a number of massacres and abductions.

ACN 20200319 98698 Easy Resize

BURKINA FASO: Social reintegration of 18 families of catechists from the diocese of Dori victims of terrorism (baggage, transport costs, health support, food, school support. Copyright: Aid to the Church in Need.

Among the many people who have been forced to flee are the lay catechists of the diocese, together with their families. Some of them have been able to find shelter and work in the other dioceses of the country, but a number of them speak only the regional Gourmantché language, which is spoken only in a few regions of the country, and they are thus unable to work in the other regions. 18 of these families now need help to rebuild their lives here in the diocese of Dori. Among them is the family of one catechist, Philippe, a father of seven children who was murdered in a massacre in February of this year. ACN is proposing to help these 18 families with a total of AUD $50,000, for food and lodging, medical care and essential help to rebuild their lives – for example by providing livestock so they can support themselves. For Church life today, in Africa in particular, would be unthinkable without these lay catechists. They fulfil a vital function in the parishes, especially where the faithful live scattered across wide regions. Will you help us to help them?

ACN 20200319 98696 Easy Resize

BURKINA FASO: Social reintegration of 18 families of catechists from the diocese of Dori victims of terrorism (baggage, transport costs, health support, food, school support. Copyright: Aid to the Church in Need.

Code: 125-07-59

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Cuba

Mass stipends for the 32 priests of the Archdiocese of Santiago de Cuba

It is an ancient tradition in the Catholic Church to ask a priest to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for a particular intention, or for the soul of a departed loved one. The offering or stipend given to the priest by the individual concerned is in no sense to be seen as „payment“ but is instead a gesture of love and gratitude and support for the priest who, through the words of Consecration, again makes present the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the altar.

For priests living in many of the poorest countries of the world, such Mass offerings are often a vital support for their material survival. These priests receive no salary or regular remuneration, and the faithful themselves are frequently too poor to be able to support them. Hence, these Mass stipends are often the only means of support for these pastors – means which they also generously share with the needy entrusted to their care, who come knocking at their door. For in many such countries the faithful turn to their priests for everything, seeking their help in every need, including their material needs. The priest is seen as a father and a shepherd and is expected not only to comfort souls but also to provide the people with food, medicines, clothing, schooling for their children and vocational training for the young. All of these people look with hope towards their priests.

ACN 20200318 98650 Easy Resize

1,200 Ordinary Masses have been requested for the 33 diocesan priests and the Archbishop this will help them to provide for their living costs.
To arrange a Mass click here.

Every year, thanks to the Mass stipends offered by our benefactors, ACN is able to support around 40,000 needy priests around the world. Among these are the 34 priests of the Archdiocese of Santiago de Cuba. For the profound economic crisis which affects the Cuban people has likewise had a painful impact on the Church. The ordinary faithful are generally too poor to be able to support their priests, or the various activities in the parishes.

We are consequently proposing to provide Mass stipends for these 32 priests of the diocese, to a total value of AUD $18,000 – which represents just AUD $560 for each priest, for the entire year.

Code: 216-04-masses

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Peru

Help for the training of catechists in the territorial prelature of Chuquibambilla, in the Peruvian Andes


The territorial prelature of Chuquibambilla lies high up in the Andes at an altitude of up to 16,000 feet (5000 m), in one of the poorest regions of Peru. 14 diocesan priests are currently working here in very difficult conditions – given that the close on 100,000 Catholic faithful within the prelature live widely dispersed in many small and often isolated settlements. The distances are large, and the roads bad. In many places there is no electricity, telephone service or Internet. In the rainy season many of the roads are impassable and many are flooded. Consequently, many of the villages can only rarely be visited by the handful of priests who are available. All the more important, then, is the work of the lay catechists, who live in the villages and are responsible for a major part of Church life in them. They prepare the faithful for the reception of the Sacraments, instruct them in the Faith and pray together with them.

ACN 20200303 97757 Easy Resize

PERU: Ongoing formation of the catechists: Living of pastoral agents in Abra Lluillita at 4600 metres above sea level. Copyright Aid to the Church in Need.

First of all, however, these catechists need to have a sound knowledge of the faith that they will then pass on to others. Yet most of them are simple country people. And so the prelature has established a series of training courses in order to equip these catechists, who are simply committed volunteers and offer their services freely and for nothing, with the necessary knowledge to carry out their important work. Some of them cannot even read and write and must therefore first follow a course in basic literacy. And at the same time teaching materials have to be produced in the local Quechua language, which is spoken among the majority of the population, most of whom cannot speak any Spanish.

The last course of this kind was given 11 years ago. So now it is high time for a new course to be given. All the parishes of the prelature are sending candidates for these courses. This is vital work, since the life of the Church in this region would be unthinkable without the work of these lay catechists.

ACN is proposing to support these important training courses with a contribution of  AUD $25,000.

ACN 20200303 97756 Easy Resize

Ongoing formation of the catechists: First communion catechists - missionary children pf a community Campesina. Copyright: Aid to the Church in Need.

Code: 234-01-49

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India

Success Story: 10 Mopeds for pastoral work in the Andaman and Nicobar islands

The Andaman and Nicobar islands are a chain of some 572 islands in the Indian Ocean which belong to the Indian union, only 37 of which are actually inhabited, however. Even on the inhabited islands, over one-third of the area is a rainforest reserve, and there are many different aboriginal tribes, including some entirely isolated ones who reject almost all contact with the outside world. Since the 1980s the population on these islands has been growing, as a result of migration from the Indian mainland. Today the total population is approximately 380,000 people – one-third of whom live in the capital, Port Blair. 

ACN 20200219 97311 Easy Resize

Purchase of 10 motorbikes for Missionaries working in the diocese. Gifts from Aid to the Church in Need to the Diocese of Port Blair. Copyright: Aid to the Church in Need.

 

The Catholic diocese of Port Blair has approximately 34,000 Catholics, almost all of whom are Nicobarese. The 16 parishes of the diocese are scattered across several islands, and there are over 500 small Christian communities. To travel between islands the priests need boats, of course; on the islands themselves, however, what roads there are are long and difficult to negotiate. Almost none of the parishes has a car, and the old bicycles and mopeds that are commonly used take a heavy battering from the rough roads and do not last long. And so, last year the diocesan administrator asked ACN for help to purchase 10 new mopeds for pastoral work. Thanks to the generosity of our benefactors, we were able to respond quickly with a donation of AUD $15,000, and the mopeds have now been purchased. So now the priests can once again reach the Catholic faithful in the scattered villages of the islands.

The ten priests who have benefited from these new mopeds have expressed their heartfelt gratitude, and the people are happy too. For thanks to your help, the diocese can now intensify its youth outreach, for example, and generally reach out more easily and more often to the Catholic faithful.

Our heartfelt thanks to all our benefactors!

Code: 317-08-29

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