ACN’s Project of the week – Argentina – Scholarship funding for 12 seminarians

31.01.2018 in ACN PROJECTS, Adaptation Mario Bard, Aid to the Church in Need Canada, Argentina, International Catholic Charity Aid to the Church in Need, Journey with ACN, SEMINARIANS


Scholarship  funding for  12 seminarians

Miles Christi – a religious community of priests, was founded in 1994 in Argentina. The “Soldiers of Christ’’ – the name in English – speaks something different from what the world has to offer. The vow of the members stipulates that they should reject a “vulgar, empty and useless life”. Instead, they must ask themselves, as they turn to Jesus Christ’s teachings and Cross : What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What must I do for Christ ?

Their particular charism lies in the pastoral care of young people and adults, and the goal of their apostolate is the “sanctification of the lay people.”. One example is by organising spiritual retreats for different groups that they have eshtablished.

As the congregation grows,  there are presently 12 young seminarians. In 2016, two young men took their first, temporary vows and were clothed in the habit of the order. The Miles Christi formation house is situated close from the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lujàn, held in high honour by the Argentinian people. It was consecrated in April 1987
by Pope Saint John Paul II. 

The economic crisis in the country and the high inflation create a challenge to this growing Congregation. Their superiors are concerned about covering their cost. How will they be able to support these young men on their journey? To achieve this goal, they are hoping very much that our benefactors will come to their aid. So, we have already promised them 3 600 dollars in your name.

Just click if you want to give to a similar project.

ACN Project of the Week – Argentina

19.07.2017 in ACN BENEFACTORS, ACN International, ACN PROJECTS, Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, Argentina, International Catholic Charity Aid to the Church in Need, Sisters, SUBSISTENCE



Support for Sisters in the poorest diocese of the country


For Father Werenfried van Straaten, the founder of the international Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), suffering and need were never an abstract problem. For him it was always about the individual, a person with a face and a name, a child of God.


It is very easy to dismiss any sense of personal involvement when it comes to a statistic, a mere number can mean very little to us. However, the fate of an individual person with a face and a name is not as easy to distance ourselves from, for it touches us inwardly; it is a direct appeal to us personally and to the heart.


On his many travels around the world, Father Werenfried encountered a great many people living in poverty and destitution, in whom he saw God himself as weeping. They had names – Anna, Pablo and John, Maria and Miguel. He had looked them in the eyes, and what he had seen was for him a cry for help. He asked himself – and all of us – the question: “How is it that we are so comfortably situated? These people live beneath the same sun and the same stars as we do. God also created them on the sixth day, to be kings of creation. Where then is their kingdom? This trampling of their human dignity is a mortal sin against nature, a crying injustice. In addition, we too will personally share in this injustice if we do not do everything in our power to banish it from the world – everything in our power!”



A human crisis

Very few people know there are regions in Argentina where people live in the direst poverty. One such region is a diocese with the long name of “San Roque de Presidencia Roque Sáenz Peña.”  It is one of the poorest dioceses in the country and this, on paper, seemingly dry statistic is in reality a human crisis for those involved. Some of these people live in dirty, damp, unhealthy hovels or even under plastic sheeting. There are sick people barely being cared for, emaciated children, living off little more than a little flour moistened in water, gaunt-looking mothers…


The diocese covers a vast area of over 27,000 square miles (70,000 km²) in the north of the country, characterized mainly by savannah and dry forestland. It is home to the descendants of various indigenous tribes who in the past used to live as nomads. Many still live as hunter-gatherers. Now the large Agro industries, which are encroaching ever further on their traditional territories, are increasingly restricting their traditional lifestyle, grubbing up the forest and establishing vast soybean plantations. At the same time, the goats and cattle of settlers and small farmers are eating the forest bare.

Bringing home the truth

The Catholic Church is the only organization supporting these people. However, the distances are huge and there are only very few priests. Therefore, the support of the religious Sisters is vital. At present, there are 38 religious from various different congregations working in the diocese. They are supporting the people in many ways and bringing home to them the truth that they are indeed children of God. They visit the families in the villages, care for the sick and elderly, pray with the people and, while bringing them urgent and vital help, while at the same time managing to introduce a little light and laughter into their poverty-stricken homes.


We regularly help these sisters and this year once again we plan to support them in their modest lifestyle, for all the work that they do is offered entirely free of charge. We have promised a total of $24,800 to support their life and ministry – just $653 per Sister for an entire year. Thank you to our benefactors!



Project of the Week – Building a Chapel in Argentina

02.03.2016 in ACN Canada, ACN PROJECTS, Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, Argentina, CONSTRUCTION, International Catholic Charity Aid to the Church in Need, Sisters

ARGENTINA / BUENOS AIRES   Construction of a chapel at the monastery light of the Gospel, Little Sisters of the Lamb – 

Construction of a chapel at the monastery light of the Gospel, little sisters of the lamb - dominicans (additional aid)Argentina

A chapel for the Little Sisters of the Lamb

The Little Sisters of the Lamb are a new community which was founded in France in 1983. Although it has only been in existence for 33 years, it already has 120 Sisters actively working in 10 different countries.


They pattern themselves on the Franciscan and Dominican model and live a partly contemplative life – which means to say that a major part of their charism consists in adoration and contemplation, although at the same time they also follow Jesus, who walked through Galilee in search of the “lost sheep.” Hence they also devote themselves to serving their fellow men in everyday life.


In 1996 they opened a new house in Buenos Aires where the Sisters care for children and families living on the streets. They take in the poor and also offer a spiritual home to young people studying in the nearby universities. The convent consists of a single-storey building, in which two rooms have been converted into a small chapel. The remaining rooms are used as workshops and guestrooms. In the courtyard at the back there are various other small and simple buildings which provide the living cells and the communal rooms for the eight Sisters living there.


Construction of a chapel at the monastery light of the Gospel, little sisters of the lamb - dominicans (additional aid)

The Sisters at the future dining room

But now the Sisters plan to build a new chapel that will be recognizable as such, and accessible, from the street outside. This is a project that was greatly desired by Pope Francis himself, while he was still Archbishop of Buenos Aires, and he recommended it warmly to ACN back in 2011. He expressed the hope at the time that this chapel and the presence of the Sisters would “encourage the Christian and sacramental life of the many young students who pass by there.”


In order to achieve this, however, the building at the front has to be gutted, partially rebuilt and equipped with a dignified facade. Work has now begun on this project, in fact, and ACN has already given $87,000 CAN towards it. But the rampant inflation in Argentina has resulted in a dramatic increase in costs. So now we are helping again, this time with $145,000 CAN.






Journey with ACN – Argentina

15.05.2015 in ACN Canada, ACN PROJECTS, Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, Argentina, Journey with ACN

JOURNEY WITH ACN is our weekly newsletter regularly posted to our website and designed to acquaint you with the needs of the Catholic Church around the world and introducing you to various projects we have helped to bring into being together with our partners and ACN benefactors.

This week:  Argentina

Success Story: how you are helping the youth apostolate in the diocese of Anatuya



The Church in Argentina, the homeland of Pope Francis, needs our help. The country is racked by political, economic and social crises, and large sections of the population are living in poverty.

This poverty drives many people into the arms of the sects, which lure many people with wealth and fair promises – especially those who are weak in their Catholic faith and not firmly rooted in its eternal truths. Such people can easily fall prey to their promises. This problem is a major challenge for the Catholic Church, and the Church here in Argentina is responding to the challenge, although she suffers an acute shortage of priests and has to cope with the additional difficulty of the vast distances within the individual dioceses.

Some 200 km from the provincial capital of Santiago del Estero, in the arid and infertile northwest of Argentina, lies the diocese of Añatuya, one of the poorest in the entire country. The average income here is just 300 pesos – or $53 – a month, and unemployment is an alarming 65%. ACN has been supporting the work of the Church in the diocese for many years now. The population is only around 120,000, of whom some 85% are Catholics – but they are spread across a vast area of some 68,000 km². The region is infertile and the infrastructure is poor. Getting around is a real challenge, especially in the rainy season. The 33 priests of the diocese are happy if they can visit each parish at least once a month and celebrate Holy Mass there.

A myriad of activities

In these parishes, of course, there are also thousands of children and young people who need to be soundly instructed in their faith. With your help, every effort is being made to reach out to them, through activities in the parishes (such as Los Juríes, Huachana and Tucumán), the smaller communities and in the schools. Youth camps and ‘Olympiads’ have been organized for them, at which basic Christian values are also explored and social problems addressed, such as alcohol and drugs. Their faith was also at the centre of a pilgrimage of 300 young people to Matará, for example, and a festival at the shrine of Huachana, a meeting at Pentecost in Quimilí and a special vocations retreat day for girls in Tintina.


ARGENTINA / AÑATUYA 13/00188Pastoral activities for young peop


Six times a year there are also three-day meetings and workshops – held separately for boys and girls – to train up youth leaders in catechesis and Bible work. Theirs is a crucial role in spreading the faith, above all given the critical shortage of priests. Another two-day course for 80 youth group leaders also fulfills a similar function. And in Anatuya itself and in Monte Quemado there were large youth meetings.

All these activities and the exemplary organization behind them naturally cost a lot of time, money, food, transport, teaching materials and the like – all of which has to be paid for. Thanks to the generosity of our benefactors, ACN was able to give $15,880 towards this program, and now all of them – from the bishop to the priests, down to the young participants – want to express their gratitude. For this is truly an investment in the future of the Church, here in the diocese. “It is incredible to see the young people gathering together, radiating such joy and youthful enthusiasm and wanting not only to share with others and get to know one another but also in so doing to be always aware that Christ is at the centre of everything”, reports one of the organizers. And Bishop Adolfo Uriona writes, “May God bless you and all your benefactors for all the good you have done for the Church in need around the world. I thank you for your solidarity.”


Please click here to dondonateate for this project or to similar ones – in Argentina or elsewhere.

United through prayer for the poor and persecuted Church! 


Journey with ACN – Argentina

06.02.2015 in ACN Canada, ACN International, Argentina, International Catholic Charity Aid to the Church in Need, Journey with ACN

© Aid to the Church in Need

JOURNEY WITH ACN is  our weekly newsletter regularly posted to our blog and designed to acquaint you with the needs of the Catholic Church around the world – and various projects we have helped to bring into being together with ACN benefactors.

This week:   Argentina

Support for 91 religious Sisters in Añatuya

Aid to the Church in Need has been helping the diocese of Añatuya for many years now. Covering an area the size of Ireland, this diocese has approximately 120,000 inhabitants, 85% of whom are Catholic. It is an extremely arid and unproductive region and the absence of infrastructure makes it difficult, if not, impossible, to get around quickly. As a result, for the 33 priests working in the dioceses, the help of the more than 100 religious Sisters and lay pastoral workers is of a priceless value.

Bishop Adolfo, the bishop of Añatuya, has written to ACN for support. His is one of the poorest dioceses in Argentina, where the average salary is just 300 pesos (around $75) a month – the Sisters and catechists do not earn much more than this. “They get less than $75 a month, and from this they must pay their board, lodging and transportation costs,” explains Bishop Adolfo. They also share in the same kind of living conditions as everyone else. “We have no electric power. When it rains, the roads are impassable and we cannot even transport medicines or food,” reads a letter from three Dominican Sisters, who run a parish some 60 km (38 miles) from Añatuya.

The priest can only visit once a month; the rest of the time, the Sisters are the ones available for the Catholic faithful. Those who do have work here consider themselves lucky – despite the meagre salary – for the unemployment rate in Añatuya is around 65%.

©Aid to the Church in Need

©Aid to the Church in Need

Many of the local people live in simple mud huts with roofs of branches and grass. The general lack of hygiene and good order leads to all kinds of ailments, including outbreaks of tuberculosis and gastro-intestinal disorders, as well as syphilis. Many children suffer from malnutrition, and there is a lack of doctors, therefore the people are all the more happy to have Sister Asunción, a trained nurse, present among them. This Dominican Sister works in a health centre and “does everything” as her fellow religious testify. “The patients come from miles away, since they have more confidence in her than in the doctors,” they tell us.

Water is a veritable blessing in Añatuya where it normally rains for only four months of the year and where the soil is full of saltpetre and contaminated with arsenic. The only water is supplied by a very salty river – appropriately named – Rio Salado (or “Salty River”). This river also poses a very real threat during the rainy season to all the surrounding villages, when the roads and entire villages are inundated. “We had 24 evacuees living in our convent for almost 3 weeks,” recalls Sister Loucia, the superior of her community of six “Jesús Verbo y Víctima”.  At the time, the Sisters were completely cut off from their surroundings and forced to suspend their pastoral work.  Nevertheless, they continued to visit everyone they could reach, and prayed with them – a help which was of “great consolation” for all the people concerned.


To make a donation to ACN for refugees

To make a donation by please call: (514) 932-0552 or toll free 1-(800) 585-6333
or click the image to make a secure on-line donation.


Aid to the Church in Need wants to help support the life and apostolate of the 91 religious sisters in the diocese, with a total of $51,000.


Journey with ACN – Argentina

21.03.2014 in ACN BENEFACTORS, ACN Canada, ACN International, Argentina, International Catholic Charity Aid to the Church in Need, Journey with ACN, Media apostolate

JOURNEY WITH ACN is our Friday newsletter which will be regularly posted to our blog.   Our weekly newsletter was designed to provide us with an opportunity to acquaint you with the needs of the Catholic Church around the world – and with some of the projects we have been able to realize together with ACN benefactors.

This week:    Argentina


Catholic Radio Programs

ACN International

Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, ACN Canada


ACN founder, Father Werenfried van Straaten, had many ingenious ideas for bringing the Church to those who could not get to church themselves, for among other reasons, they lived in regions where churches did not exist, and where priests could rarely reach.

He responded with a remarkable idea: to put the Gospel on wheels! Chapel trucks were born – and later Chapel boats. Mobile and floating churches. Nevertheless, it was clear to him that even so, it remained seeming impossible to reach all the faithful in every place.

That is why the media apostolate, and especially the radio apostolate, was an idea very dear to Father Werenfried‘s heart. Inexpensive transistor radios are affordable and obtainable almost everywhere in the world today. And in this way, the Good News can penetrate even into those regions that are most difficult, if not impossible, to access.

In places where the Church has such radio-based missions – even as far out as the steppes of Central Asia – one might see nomads sitting around the radio in the evening, praying the Rosary. But of course there are many others too for whom such a radio apostolate can the a true source of inspiration and a way of complementing more traditional methods of pastoral ministry.



The realisation that radio can be a sort of “pulpit”, from which the Word can be disseminated to millions, was something well understood by our present Pope Francis. When he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he established the communications centre of Our Lady of Lujan, for Argentina, also has its remote and impoverished regions where it is not physically possible to provide an adequate pastoral ministry to the faithful. Moreover, there are also many, while formally belonging to the Catholic Church, have little understanding of their faith and do not go to church, and cannot be reached via the usual parish ministry. Also in play are the increasing anticlerical tendencies in society that are attacking Christian values, which can hardly go unnoticed, and the culture of every day life.

In order to help the Church in these many challenges that are facing her in Argentina, ACN is supporting this Catholic ministry of the airwaves with a contribution of $12,000.

To make a donation by  please call: (514) 932-0552 or toll free 1-(800) 585-6333  or click the image to make a secure on-line donation.

To make a donation by please call: (514) 932-0552 or toll free 1-(800) 585-6333
or click the image to make a secure on-line donation.