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Bulgaria

Support for the apostolate of five Franciscan Sisters

 

Bulgaria is now a member of the European Union, but despite this, around a fifth of the 7.1 million or so inhabitants of this Southeast European nation still live in poverty.

 

In fact, one in 10 people are defined as living in “extreme poverty.” Unemployment touches close to 25% of the population. Those who do have jobs often earn so little that they barely make ends meet or support their families. Life is particularly hard for the elderly, who often have to make do on a tiny pension.

 

In the small towns of Zitnitza and Rakovski, there are five Catholic nuns belonging to the congregation of the “Franciscan Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart,” a congregation founded in the 19th century in Italy – present today in 20 countries throughout Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Their special charism consists in proclaiming the Gospel of Christ through their selfless service of the poor.

 

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Doing “all they can do”

These five religious Sisters visit the poor, the elderly, the sick and lonely people in the area, doing all they can to help them to cope with their difficult lives and combat their loneliness. They also help the poorest families who barely have enough to eat, feeding around 40 people every week who otherwise could not afford a hot meal. They also give religious instruction in the schools and catechetical instruction in the parishes, preparing the younger children for their First Holy Communion and the older ones for the Sacrament of Confirmation.

 

Without the support of ACN benefactors, the Sisters themselves would also struggle terribly to make ends meet.

 

That is why we are supporting the Sisters on a yearly basis, to sustain them in being there for the people who need their help. Once again this year, we are planning to give them 2,175 CAN in answer to their call for help.

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