fbpx

ACN BENEFACTORS

 

ACN’s Project of the week – Guatemala – a car for a very large parish

05.04.2018 in ACN BENEFACTORS, ACN International, ACN PROJECTS, Central America, Guatemala, International Catholic Charity Aid to the Church in Need, Journey with ACN, MOTORIZATION

Guatemala

A car for pastoral work in a very large parish

The parish of El Calvario in  Cobàn is under the care of three priests belonging to the congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Although the parish church is close to the city centre, the parish itself covers a vast and mountainous area of 2,000 square kilometres, with 117 outlying communities to care for, and there is only three priests! In comparaison, the Megacity and capital of Japan, Tokyo, is a little bigger.

 

The challenges are enormous , and the distances considerable, and often on poor roads. The northern part of the region is unsafe on account of the drug traffickers, organized crime, and three quarters of the population live in poverty, often extreme poverty. Most of the population belong to the indigenous Kekchi (or Q’eqchi) tribe. The first roads into the region were only built in the 1960s and 1970s, and to this day the Kekchi still live on the margins of society.

In the mountain of Guatemala, in a territory a little bit less larger than Japan’s capital and megacity Tokyo, the three religious of the congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary wants to improve the time they passed with their parishioners. A new car will be of great help! 

 

 

During the civil war that lasted from 1968 until 1996 many people were abducted and tortured or lost close family members, and many children were orphaned. “The wounds from this time have still not healed,” says Father Charitable Derisseau, who in fact comes from Haiti himself. “The widows, orphans and other survivors of this conflict are still living here in our parish”, he adds. Father Derisseau has left his own country, the poorest in the Western hemisphere, to devote his life to the poor in Guatemala.

 

The Catholic Church here is devoting itself particularly to the Kekchi people. “They are the majority in our parish, and they are particularly poor and marginalized”, their parish priest tells us. Many of their villages can only be reached on foot, which means that the priests sometimes have to wade through the mud to get to their destination. “Generally, we aim to visit 10 communities in five days. Sometimes we have to walk for hours to get from one village to another. But although walking through the mud is extremely hard work and makes us sweat and struggle, we are welcomed with such warmth and celebration”, he tells us. The Catholic faithful are overjoyed when the priest comes, bringing them the Sacraments and helping them with wise spiritual and practical counsel. Many of the villages can, however, be reached along very poor, muddy and deeply potholed tracks – but these can only be managed in a four-wheel-drive vehicle.

 

At present the priests do have an old car, which is causing them more and more problems, however, and so they have asked our help for a new vehicle that can cope with the difficult conditions. We have promised them 22 650 dollars.

Guatemala: Father Charitable Derisseau presiding the Eucharist with his parishioners. 

 

 

 

Thank you to help! You can give by clicking on the button below

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

India: A love that doesn’t take retirement

23.03.2018 in ACN BENEFACTORS, ACN International, Aid to the Church in Need Canada, Asia, By Maria Lozano, Feature Story, India, International Catholic Charity Aid to the Church in Need, Journey with ACN, Julie Bourbeau, Mass Offerings

A love that doesn’t take retirement

They have dedicated their lives to God and to their fellow men, following a path of great renunciation. They are seven priests who, many decades ago, left behind their own home territory in the South of India to work as missionaries in the North of the country. A thousand miles and more from home, both in geographical terms and in terms of their faith, these priests may not have changed their country, but they did have to learn a new language and new customs in this vast and immensely richly varied subcontinent that is India. And now they are living in a small home for retired priests. But if their bodies have suffered the ravages of time, their spirits have not. They continue to burn with the desire to incarnate the very essence of their vocation by serving God in their fellow men, right up to the hour of their death.

“My mission has been and still is to suffer with Christ,” says Father Joseph Mattathilani, summing up a life marked by grave illnesses, including a brain tumour. “I was left paralyzed for months, and at one point they gave me just three days to live,” he explains. Yet he radiates peace and serenity, despite his fragile health. “My mother died when I was a child. Our Lady was the one to take care of me and bring me to the priesthood. I wanted to give my life for other people. The miracle was to get so much love back from other people.”

Archbishop William D’Souza and Father Aloysius, 90 years old. In this diocese, 60 Novena Masses for 10 retired priests were distributed. 

In a similar way, speaking with some difficulty, Father George Theruvan recalls other sufferings. Now aged 87, he vividly recalls one of the attacks on their mission, when guerrillas put a pistol to his temple and he thought his last moment had come. “I began to pray and I offered my life to God, asking to be able to embrace this moment in peace. Those were two terrible hours. But then, after destroying everything, they left again. Not everyone welcomed us with open arms; many times we had to start over again. But all of us can truly say that it was worth the trouble and that we have been treated with great affection and gratitude by the ordinary people.”

“We travelled from one place to another, spending a night in each village, where we explained the Gospel and celebrated the sacraments,” recalls Father Sebastian Puthenpura. He also tells us about the beginnings of his missionary work. This priest, who has just celebrated his 85th birthday, quickly discovered “that our work would have been in vain if we had not educated the women. The Church cannot progress without those who will be the future pillars of their society, namely the mothers,” he insists. At that time it was not easy to convince the fathers to send their daughters to school, nor is it easy even today in the poorest rural areas of the state of Bihar. The South of India has centuries of Christian tradition behind it, whereas in the region of Bihar, the archdiocese of Patna will only just be celebrating the first century of its existence in 2019.

But “always and in everything I find my support in the Lord,” he adds. Even during the times when the ordinary cultural difficulties were exacerbated by the instability in the region due to the presence of terrorists and armed gangs. “Once I went to a village where there were 11 girls and nobody was willing to send them to school; they thought it too dangerous. The school was empty. But then it occurred to me that Saint Joseph was the guardian of the Child Jesus and looked after him and cared for him. So I entrusted the school to his care, and within two months we had 400 children.”

At the age of 90, Father Aloysius Sequeira is the oldest of the group. “I became a priest because I wanted to be a missionary. To do so, I travelled over 2000 miles (3000 km) to give my life for the people. I knew that the Lord would do the rest. This year I will complete my 60th year in the priesthood, and I have never regretted it even for a single day.”

“What good does it do you to gain the whole world if you don’t have God?

Father Sebastian picked up the thread of the conversation here and told us how he had a good job and everything he could possibly need to live a comfortable and happy life in the South of India, until one day he heard a bishop from the North of India speak about the missions. He asked himself, “What good does it do you to gain the whole world if you don’t have God? Everything else is in vain.” Still full of vitality, he recalls how “I went to my father and told him, I’m going to be a priest. I’m going to leave work and travel with the bishop. It’s been over 50 years since then, and I am still helping as much as I can, above all hearing confessions, and they call me up from the charismatic spiritual centre as well to help them, because they can’t cope with the demand.”

Visit of ACN Team in the residence for old priests – Father Sebastian: ““What good does it do you to gain the whole world if you don’t have God?”

Many of them have health problems now, especially their hearts which seem to be worn down after having battled and cared so much for the simple, ordinary people in so many villages and rural corners of the dioceses of Patna and Buxar. Thanks to the Mass stipends channelled to them by the international Catholic pastoral charity and pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), they are able to cover at least some of their medical expenses. They are immensely grateful to ACN and to all its generous benefactors: “We are missionaries and we are on the front line, but you are supporting us from your own home countries with your prayers and your financial support, thanks to the Mass stipends that come to us through ACN. And so you too have become missionaries, so that we can work together for the glory of God.”

 

ACN provides a significant part of its financial aid to priests in the poorest parts of the world (above all in Africa and Asia) in the form of Mass intentions, which they celebrate for the intentions of our benefactors. A total of around 1.5 million Masses are celebrated in this way each year – or one every 22 seconds. For places like the archdiocese of Patna, this represents an indispensable support, since in many such poor areas of the world the priests cannot count on the support of the people but, on the contrary, even have to support them instead.

 

If you want to pass via Aid to the Church in Need for your Mass intentions, please visit the following web address:
https://secure.acn-canada.org/product-category/mass-offerings/


 

ACN Success Story – Thank you for the Mass intentions in Papua New Guinea!

28.02.2018 in ACN BENEFACTORS, ACN International, Adaptation Mario Bard, Catholic priests, International Catholic Charity Aid to the Church in Need, Journey with ACN, Mass Offerings, Papua New Guinea, Priests

Papua New Guinea

Success Story – Thank you for your Mass intentions!

The 26 priests of the diocese of Wabag, in central Papua New Guinea, are very grateful to you for the 2,025 Mass Intentions that you have provided. Bishop Arnold Orowae appealed to us for help last year, since his diocese is very poor and his priests are forced to supplement their income by growing their own food in order to support themselves. At the same time, they have to minister to vast parishes with numerous outstations in this remote and difficult mountain terrain.

 

The long distances they have to travel include negotiating sometimes almost impassable tracks. Yet they still minister unfailingly to the 75,000 Catholic faithful of the diocese, visiting the sick, counselling and accompanying families, travelling to remote outstations to say Mass and administer the Sacraments, providing religious education and celebrating Holy Mass in the schools, organizing retreats for children, young people, altar servers and catechists.

 

Since the Year of Mercy, there has also been an increase in the number of people seeking the Sacrament of Confession, which, of course, takes up much of the priests‘ time. In many places there has also been an intensification in Eucharistic adoration. Feast days and holy days are celebrated with great festivities. For example, each parish prepares for its own patronal feast with a novena, and during October, the month of the Rosary, there are processions in all communities where there is a chapel. So it is that the priests are tirelessly on the go.

 

In this situation the Mass Intentions of our benefactors are an immense support. There is no question here of “paying” for the Holy Mass, but there is a long tradition in the Church of asking priests to celebrate Mass for a particular intention – for example a deceased loved one – and in return giving a gift that is in no sense a “payment” but rather a gesture of love and gratitude and material support on the part of the giver. Bishop Orowae writes to tell us that “All my priests are most grateful for the Mass Intentions they have received and gladly celebrate Holy Mass for the intentions of those who have given them.”

 

Your Mass stipends not only help to support the priests themselves but also enable them to provide for some of the needs of their parishes, for example by providing hosts and altar wine or helping to maintain and worthily furnish some of the chapels in the remotest communities.

 

May our Lord bless all who have helped!

If you wish to have a mass celebrated, just click on the red button and offer your Mass intentions via Aid to the Church in Need.  Thank you!


 

ACN’s Project of the Week ! – Sierra Leone: teaching materials

07.02.2018 in ACN BENEFACTORS, ACN PROJECTS, Africa, FORMATION, International Catholic Charity Aid to the Church in Need, Journey with ACN, Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone

Teaching materials for the minor seminary in the diocese of Makeni

 

Sierra Leone is still struggling to emerge from its state of near-permanent crisis. The consequences of the terrible civil war, from 1991 to 2002, are still all too painfully evident to this day. During this civil war, approximately half the population was forced to flee their homes and thousands of people were killed. One still sees people today with a missing arm or foot, hacked off by the rebels of the so-called “Revolutionary United Front”. So many women were raped, and many children born of rape were left to wander the streets, helpless. The economy is ravaged by poverty, unemployment and corruption and today this country of West Africa is still one of the poorest in the world – a poverty only exacerbated by a series of natural disasters, including above all the devastating Ebola epidemic of 2014.

 

While around 70% of the population are Muslims, the Catholic Church is nonetheless widely respected, above all for its many schools and the selfless help it has provided to so many people, regardless of race or religion. At the same time, however, the Church is very careful not to neglect the spiritual and religious dimension, and is accordingly stepping up its efforts to promote vocations and provide a solid formation for its future priests.

Discerning in the prayer: one of the crucial step when priesthood seems to call. 

 

The diocese of Makeni covers a vast area of over 36,000 square kilometres, though it has only 25 parishes. It also has a „minor seminary“ – that is, a form of school that precedes the seminary itself. Here, young boys who feel a calling to the priesthood attend school and are given a normal academic formation. But, in addition to their ordinary schooling, they are also introduced to the religious life. This includes daily Mass, the Liturgy of the Hours, regular personal prayer and spiritual accompaniment. Each month there is a retreat day and at the end of each semester the youngsters take part in a longer spiritual retreat. “The spiritual formation is at the heart of their education,” says the rector of the seminary, Father Peter S. Kanu. Attention is also paid to psychological and social-cultural aspects of their formation, since the training for the priesthood has to address the whole person. “Our future priests are being trained not only for the local Church but also for the universal Church,” the rector explains.

 

Many of the 40 priests currently working in the diocese also attended the minor seminary themselves and, happily, every year there are one, two, or even several priestly ordinations in Makeni. This is the fruit of an intensified vocations apostolate. “We spend some time in the parishes and schools, talking about vocations. We believe that this apostolate inspires the desire in the hearts of these boys to devote their lives to God,” Father Peter adds.

 

But now world economic factors are also impacting on the life of the seminary in this desperately poor country. Prices are rising almost daily, and it is a struggle for the seminary to make ends meet. Above all they need school textbooks and Bibles. We are proposing to help the seminary with a contribution of 3,975 dollars, so that they can purchase the necessary materials.

 


ACN Project of the Week – DRC

11.01.2018 in ACN BENEFACTORS, ACN Canada, Africa, Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Dominican Fathers, International Catholic Charity Aid to the Church in Need, Journey with ACN, MOTORIZATION, Project of the Week, TRANSPORTATION

Success Story: Democratic Republic of the Congo

 

A minibus for the Dominican Fathers in Kinshasa

 

The Dominican Fathers in Kinshasa are delighted to have received their new minibus. Their old vehicle finally gave up the ghost, irrevocably, while travelling on the road, some 210 km (130 miles) away from their home monastery. From that time onward, they were forced to cope somehow or other without a vehicle. But thanks to the generosity of our benefactors who have given $33,000, they have at last been able to purchase a new minibus.

 

The Dominican Order, which celebrated its 800 years of existence in 2016, has been in existence since 1912 in what is today the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Long ago, at that time, it was Belgian priests who arrived as missionaries, but now it is the home-grown Congolese religious who are following in their footsteps. The order is represented in four dioceses of the country and has six houses, with a total of 42 priests. The Dominican Fathers are involved in chaplaincy work with the military and the police, and they also care for former child soldiers, for orphans, the crippled and disabled and for victims of sexual violence. They are also involved in the running of five local parishes.

 

A minibus translates into more study time

Blessing of the minibus offered by the benfactors of Aid to the Church in Need, in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.

There are many new vocations. Currently there are 17 students, six novices and eight pre-novices who are preparing to commit themselves one day fully to the order through their solemn vows. Two young men have already been ordained to the diaconate in fact, and are now looking forward to their ordination as priests.

The new minibus is very important to the Dominicans for the effective realization of their many different activities. However, its most important use is for the young men who are pursuing their studies. For one of the two universities where these students are training is around 10 miles (15 km) away from the Dominican monastery, and public transport in the 13 million-strong (new statistics show 17 million!) city of Kinshasa is inadequate and unreliable.

As a result, the students found it almost impossible to arrive punctually and reliably for their studies, and on top of this they were in a constant state of near exhaustion, having been forced to waste a great deal of time that they should have been able to devote to their studies and to their monastic life.

Father Albert Akora Kanika writes, “Thanks to the new vehicle, our students are exposed to fewer dangers on the roads; they are healthier and happier and can pursue their studies better and more regularly – and above all take part in the life of the monastery while looking to achieve better grades in their studies.”

If you are inspired by this project and wish to contribute to a similar one, please click the donate button!

 

 

 

 


 

ACN Project of the Week – Brazil

22.12.2017 in ACN BENEFACTORS, ACN International, ACN PROJECTS, Journey with ACN, MOTORIZATION

Brazil

Success Story: Two river boats for pastoral work in the Amazon region

The Catholic territorial prelature of Tefé lies in the state of Amazonas in Northwest Brazil. The prelature alone covers an area of over 100,000 square miles (265,000 km²) – roughly the size of Italy – and vast sections of it are accessible only by river. The distances are immense.

Needless to say, the sheer scale of the prelature represents a major challenge for the Catholic Church, since the 14 parishes and the 520 sub-parishes lie scattered across this whole vast area, along the river banks. Until recently it took the priests and lay missionaries somewhere between two and three days just to travel from one riverside community to another. This was partly because the boats they were using were at least 20 years old and made of wood. They were becoming increasingly expensive to maintain and consumed an excessive amount of fuel. Moreover, on account of the tightening of environmental laws, it was becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to obtain the necessary timber to repair the boats when they were damaged. And of course the long and arduous journeys, sometimes of several hundred kilometers, took a heavy toll on those involved. The journey to the most distant parish took up to 120 hours, or five days.

The Catholic faithful in the villages also had to wait for very long periods from one visit to the next. And meanwhile, the less they were able to play an active part in the life of the Church and be given the necessary pastoral accompaniment, the more they became easy prey for the often well funded sectarian groups seeking to expand into the area and proselytize.

Now, however, thanks to the generosity of our kind benefactors, ACN has been able to help the prelature to purchase two new, aluminium hulled boats. These have cut down the journey time by half from one community to the next, so that the missionaries can now visit the communities more frequently. And at the same time they have greatly reduced the fuel costs. Each boat is 12 m long by 3 m wide, a veritable “floating mission station” with a kitchen or galley area and a bathroom. It has sleeping accommodation for up to 10 people and seating for up to 35 people, so that Holy Mass and other ceremonies can be held on board. Both boats bear the logo of the prelature, plus an individual religious name, so that they can be easily recognized as mission boats.

In fact, one of them is even named after Father Werenfried van Straaten, the founder of ACN. And of course the Catholics of the region are delighted that the Church can now come to them more frequently. They all express their heartfelt thanks to all our generous benefactors! And with your help, we are planning to fund two more similar mission boats in the near future!

To donate for a similar project,
please click below!

ACN Project of the Week – Prayer books for kids in Ecuador

06.12.2017 in ACN BENEFACTORS, ACN International, Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, Ecuador, Journey with ACN, Project of the Week

Ecuador

Advent and Christmas prayer booklets for 2,000 children and teens

 

Christmas is not mainly about giving presents of course, but rather, about celebrating the birth of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. God came into this world as a little child to lead us to salvation. In order to strengthen and deepen this awareness and faith, the apostolic vicariate of Zamora in southeastern Ecuador is planning to give 2,000 children a little booklet each. 

 

All of these include prayers and Bible readings relating to the Advent and Christmas seasons as a way to more deeply experience the season of Advent, the time of expectation, and prepare spiritually for the feast of Jesus’ birth.

 

It is very important for the Church to support and strengthen Catholic children in their personal faith, in a context of great social changes where the symbols and religious content are disappearing – and in the controversy – from public spaces.

 

These little Christmas booklets intend to do just that!  By supporting the growth of God’s love in their hearts. Then they will be able to come to the Manger at Christmas and adore the newborn Messiah, the Christ Child, together with the shepherds and the Wise Men from the East, and bring Him their love.

 

 

We want to help with a contribution of $5,299 so that these 2,000 children may be given these prayer books, which will then, we hope, accompany them throughout their lives.

 

 

If you would like to contribute to supporting a similar project funded by ACN, please click to donate!

 

 

 


 

 

ACN Project of the Week – Protecting Seminarians in Pakistan

30.11.2017 in ACN BENEFACTORS, ACN PROJECTS, Aid to the Church in Need Canada, Pakistan, Project of the Week

Pakistan

Protecting the seminarians

Attacks against Christians are a regular occurrence in Pakistan today. Almost every priest in the country has at some time received anonymous threatening phone calls or letters. Even the bishops of the country receive threatening letters, demanding that they convert to Islam.

Attacks on churches and Church properties are frequent and increasing – and sometimes they are much more serious than simply stone throwing. There have also been suicide attacks, bomb attacks, armed attacks, arson attacks and assaults by angry mobs and the danger is a real and constant one. Many churches are under police protection, and the government has required the Church to take increased security measures.

 

In 1995, the diocese of Islamabad-Rawalpindi opened a minor seminary in Lalazar, where young men who are contemplating a vocation to the priesthood undergo a preliminary three years of training, before entering the major seminary. Right now, there are 22 young seminarians living and studying at Our Lady of Lourdes Minor Seminary where they are introduced to the spiritual life.

 

The seminary is already surrounded by a wall, which has however, collapsed in places, so that unauthorized persons can easily gain access to the grounds. In a country like Pakistan, where terrorism and violence are everywhere, this is a great danger, particularly for the members of the embattled Christian minority. The wall needs to be repaired and rebuilt; it must be made higher and stronger to protect those within them.

 

Unfortunately, the seminary itself which has been standing for over 20 years now, has also had to have some essential repair and renovation work done in recent years. And so the diocese has turned to ACN for help to rebuild and reinforce the seminary enclosure wall. We have already promised $25,550.

 

If you would like to contribute to supporting a similar
project funded by ACN, please click to donate!

 

ACN Project of the Week – Restoring after hurricane Irma in Cuba

08.11.2017 in ACN BENEFACTORS, Cuba, Reconstruction

Cuba

 

New roofs for hurricane effected homes and churches

 

In September 2017, vast areas of Cuba were struck by Hurricane Irma. The island was pounded by winds gusting up to 250 km an hour, torrential rainfall, tidal surges with waves of up to 30 feet and widespread flooding.

At least 10 people lost their lives and there was extensive damage across wide swathes of the country. And while hurricanes are no rarity in this region, Hurricane Irma was more powerful than anything people here have experienced for decades.

CUBA – Archdiocese of Camagüey – 17.09.2017 After the Hurricane Irma: The chapel of Palma City has been severely damaged.

Needless to say, many of the Catholic dioceses in the country have suffered from this natural disaster, and many of the people have been forced to stand helpless at the sight of their damaged homes and churches.

 

In the archdiocese of Camaguey, one chapel was completely destroyed, three churches were left in danger of collapse and five other churches and chapels suffered severe damage. The hurricane raged for nine hours, and thousands of people were evacuated from their homes.

CUBA – Archdiocese of Camagüey – 11.09.2017  Following Hurrican Irma: The chapel of Jiquí is completely destroyed.

Just as soon as the worst of the hurricane had passed, Archbishop Wilfredo Pino Estevez was out, examining the scene of the devastation. In the town of Esmeralda, which was particularly hard hit, he found the church totally destroyed. “It was painful to see our church razed to the ground,” he said, “with the benches tossed hither and thither and the holy pictures and statues smashed.”

 

Although it was still raining heavily, he stood on the spot where the Church had once been and spoke to a married couple there. The woman, whose name was Ismaela, said to him, “Well, Bishop, the chapel may have collapsed, but not the Church.” For of course the Church is not merely a building of stone, but the living Body of Christ, which no storm can destroy, even if the buildings collapse.

After the Holy Mass on the ruins of the chapel of Jiquí: Community members with Archbishop S.E.R. Mons. Wilfredo Pino Estevez and the Apostolic Nuntio S.E.R. Mons. Giorgio Lingua

Now the time has come to start rebuilding. Archbishop Wilfredo is concerned above all for the people who have been left homeless and consequently he has asked ACN to help him purchase 6,500 corrugated steel roofing sheets. 5,000 of them will be given out to those who need them, so that their families can once again have a roof over their heads. The rest he intends to use to repair the damage on some of the churches and chapels. We are planning to help him with $50,000.

To support a similar project to this 

please click ‘donate’

 


 

ACN Project of the Week – Training of seminarians in Zambia

01.11.2017 in ACN BENEFACTORS, ACN International, ACN PROJECTS, Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, Aid to the Church in Need Canada, Journey with ACN, SEMINARIANS, Zambia

Zambia

Training eight seminarians in the diocese of Mongu

 

Zambia – a landlocked country in southern Africa – is fortunate to enjoy a certain degree of stability, contrary to many other African countries. The country still faces numerous challenges, however, including poverty, poor infrastructure and a 12% alarmingly high rate of HIV/AIDS, resulting in numerous orphaned children.

 

One third of the population are Catholic and a little over half belong to various Protestant denominations or ecclesial communities. Almost 15% follow pagan animist religions. Until recently, Muslims have made up only a considerably small minority; but in recent years there has been increased activity and an increased spread of Islam.

 

One of the major problems now lies in the spread of fundamentalist sects, which tend to spring up with simplistic and populist messages. For example people – who are for the most part very poor – are often enticed with promises such as: “If you join us, you will be rewarded even in this world, and the more you pray the richer you will become.” Often even the Catholic faithful are lured away, and so the Church in Zambia is very much aware of the need to intensify its pastoral work, to keep the Catholic faithful from easily falling prey to false promises. Crucial to this strategy, is the presence of more Catholic priests.

 

In great need of priests

When, in the past, the Church in Zambia consisted mainly of foreign missionaries, they were able to call on material support from their home countries.  But, today the Church has become more of a home-grown local church, led by native African priests. The young men who respond to the call of God and who are now training for the priesthood certainly do not look forward to a comfortable life here; instead, many of them will be serving in remote rural areas where there is no electricity or running water and where they are often long way away from their brother priests.

 

Currently, eight young men from the diocese of Mongu are training for the priesthood in a diocese west of the country covering a vast territory of around almost 90,000 km². It has 13 parishes, each as large in area as a diocese would be in other parts of the world. More priests are urgently needed because wherever the faithful are deprived of the regular support of a priest, the sects tend to have an easy time of it. Needless to say, the local Church is poor, and a solid and thorough priestly formation takes many years, and costs money.

 

ACN is happy to support the formation of these eight young seminarians and has promised a contribution on $11,600 for this academic year. 

If you would like to contribute to supporting seminarians in a similar project funded by ACN, please click to donate!

 

 

A short video on our Youtube Channel from a similar diocese in Zambia – thanks to  CRTN.