A VEHICLE FOR SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS PARISH
In the parish Our Lady of Hope belonging to the archdiocese of Lilongwe, at the center of Malawi, one of the outposts previously lay 87 kilometers from the parish center. Given the disastrous road conditions, it implied a very tough journey over several hours to reach it, one which usually would include break-downs and pierced tires. The parish being just too large, it was eventually divided, and from it came the new parish of Saint Thomas Aquinas.
Inaugurated in June 2011, the parish still presents with equally impressive numbers: over 11,000 Catholics live here and there are close to 580 baptismal candidates. The distances travelled by Father Joseph Ukut are enormous and nonetheless, he hasn’t had a vehicle of his own to use but borrows a car from the neighbouring parish where he also currently resides.
When the good father wishes to celebrate the Dominican Mass in several outlying outposts, he often arrives too late because the villages are still too far removed one from the other. He must celebrate ceremonies quickly in order to reach all the places in which people await him. During the rainy seasons, it is completely impossible to reach certain villages using a regular vehicle – because when it rains, cars get impossibly stuck in the mud. These locations can only be reached with a four-wheel drive vehicle, but the priest hasn’t the means to buy himself such a vehicle.
In order to help him better pastorally serve the faithful, we have offered an amount of $28,500 for the purchase of a four-wheel drive vehicle.