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DRC Congo

 

Democratic Republic of the Congo: The people are well and truly on the Via Dolorosa!

29.03.2018 in ACN Canada, ACN Interview, Africa, Aid to the Church in Need Canada, By Mario Bard, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), DRC Congo, International Catholic Charity Aid to the Church in Need, Journey with ACN, Julie Bourbeau, Julie Bourdeau

Democratic Republic of the Congo:

The people are well and truly on the Via Dolorosa!

Since the mid-1990s, entire areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and particularly the eastern parts of the country, have been caught up in a never-ending nightmare: the people are well and truly on the Via Dolorosa! Just like Jesus on the Cross, the deeply devout people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo have every reason to call out to God in desperation: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

“Yes, in the case of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, one can really speak of a Via Dolorosa,” a contact person from the diocese of Butembo-Beni, who remains anonymous out of safety concerns, said to Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). “A climate of terror reigns in the diocese, which is maintained by the armed groups that have moved into the region since 1995.” The source emphasized that the situation is even worse in a number of parishes that are located in the region that journalists call the “triangle of death”. This concerns four parishes, “namely Eringeti, Mbau, Oicha and Buisegha in the commune of Beni. The parishes Kipese, Kagheri, Bingi and Luofu are located in the territory of Lubero. A number of residents of these parishes have spent more than twenty years constantly fleeing from one place to the next!”

Dioceses are doing what they can to help displaced and refugee people. Here in Butembo-Beni, distribution of food.

 

 

The cause of this never-ending nightmare is the presence of rebel groups that have been slaughtering the population since 1995. “These massacres are taking place in the northern parts of the diocese of Butembo-Beni, or, to be more precise, in the commune of Beni, as well as the environs of the city of Beni,” the source told ACN. “These massacres have now spread to the neighbouring province of Ituri, which is located in the northern part of our province of North Kivu.”

 

Among other groups, a Muslim guerrilla organization that originated in Uganda and goes by the name of ADF-Nalu (Allied Democratic Forces) is responsible for the massacres. The rebels have been in the diocese since 1995. The contact person further reported that “analyses have shown that the manner in which the killings are being carried out is similar to that used during the Rwandan genocide in 1994.” This has convinced a number of observers that a “Rwandan mastermind” could be behind the massacres that have been terrorizing the people in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo for more than 25 years.

 

“These villains use machetes and axes to mercilessly kill young and old people, women and children,” the informant said.

 

He also mentioned “a project for Balkanization” that is being promoted by unknown forces with the goal of literally creating a “Tutsiland” that would reach “over our entire province of North Kivu, across South Kivu and across the province of Ituri. These would then join Rwanda. That is the reason why the peaceful population is being massacred: to obliterate all traces of the indigenous peoples who are cultivating the land. This is what has turned these populations into a flood of refugees. We don’t know at which level the complicity [of the different state agencies] is happening – on a regional, national or even international level,” the informant continued.

 

He also explained that the exploitation of natural resources and the control over these riches, as well as “greed”, also play a role in these massacres and have led thousands upon thousands of people to flee. According to estimates provided by Doctors without Borders, since December 2017, 50,000 people have crossed Lake Albert, a large lake in Ituri province, to escape the massacres, the raping of the women, children and old people and the destruction of their villages. They are finding shelter in Uganda on the other side of the lake.

 

How is it possible to proclaim the Gospel here?

 

Mothers with their children, expecting better days.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Church continues to be one of the strongest moral and social powers. “Our church in Butembo-Beni is working on sensitizing the people so that the refugees are taken in by families,” the contact person explained. “The diocese has called for donations of money and goods (food, clothing, equipment) several times. However, the never-ending war has so impoverished the people that almost nothing is collected anymore in response to these calls for donations.”

 

The Church remains strong in spite of the atmosphere of terror and persecution under which it is suffering. The source explained that the passage in the Gospels “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44) helps the people to keep going. He also made reference to a well-known biblical figure: Job. “We have taken as an example the tenacity and the witness in suffering as well as the perseverance and patience of Job.”

 

During Holy Week, ACN specifically calls for prayers for the inhabitants of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as for the Church that works for the Congolese people and is being persecuted for this reason. Since 2015, the international Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need has been supporting 823 projects with over 16 million dollars.

 


 

 

The Democratic Republic of Congo, an agony ignored by the world

12.04.2017 in Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, By Maria Lozano, DRC Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo

A death struggle forgotten by the world

 

The wave of violence that is currently tearing apart the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continues to affect the Church as well. However, there is still hope for peace. Representatives of the recently attacked seminary of Malole (Kasai-Central) ask for prayers for peace in the country and for solidarity so that they may return to their work. The pontifical charity Aid to the Church in Need plans to support the rebuilding efforts as soon as peace is restored.

On the left: Father Richard and Father Appolinaire

Father Richard Kitengie Muembo, rector of Christ the King Theological Seminary in Malole in DRC, (which was partially set on fire and destroyed on  February 18 by rebels fighting against the government) visited the international headquarters of the pontifical charity Aid to the Church in Need in Germany  with Father Apollinaire Cibaka Cikongo, executive secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of Kananga (ASSEPKA). The meeting was held to in order to report on the current situation and to ask for support in restoring the seminary in Kasai-Central, so that theology classes can begin again as soon as the situation in the Congolese region permits.

“We never thought that we would become the target of attacks. It happened because militia loyal to the late tribal leader Kamwina-Nsapu wanted to set up their headquarters on the premises of the seminary. We declined and tried to find a peaceful solution through dialogue. Unfortunately, the local authorities chose a military solution to end the conflict. This led the rebels to attack our seminary on Saturday, 18 February. Thankfully, since we had noticed that the situation was becoming very dangerous, we had already gotten the seminarians out,” said Father Richard.

 

Democratic Republic of Congo, 02. April 2017
On 31 March, a militia group attacked the city of Luebo, which is located 200 kilometres west of Malole. The rebels looted and burned down the Episcopal See

Dragging the Church into the conflict

“The 77 seminarians, ranging in age from 21 to 27 and originally from seven different dioceses in the country, have suffered terribly. They had to flee for two days, taking only what they were wearing with them. Families then took them in and had to stay with them for three weeks until they could be moved, which, in some cases, was only possible with the help of the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO). The media was informed of this,” Father Apollinaire who is on the faculty of Christ the King Seminary confirmed. The seminary itself was looted, destroyed and parts of it set on fire. The Carmelite sisters also had to leave their convent enclosure, which is situated about 400 metres from the seminary.

In July 2016, tribal leader Jean-Pierre Kamwina Nsapu Pandi contested the legitimacy of the central government. He called for a rebellion and attacked the local police, whom he accused of abuse of power, as well as rival communities. Kamwina Nsapu was killed by security forces on August 12. This led his followers to take up the fight against the central government. What began as a small opposition movement against the government has become an open battle. According to the latest MONUSCO reports, this battle has cost the lives of at least 400 civilians as well as a large number of law enforcement officers.

On March 31, a militia group attacked the city of Luebo, located 200 kilometres west of Malole. The rebels looted and burned down the Episcopal See. They set fire to the coordinating office for Catholic schools and the novitiate, which provides training to Sisters. Finally, they desecrated the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. This is a new scope of the attacks: “The Catholic Church is highly respected in this country because it has never let itself be co-opted by any political group. Attempts are now being made to embroil the Church in the conflict. Since December of last year, the Catholic Church has been the mediator between government and opposition to find a transitional arrangement,” Father Richard explained.

In a communication published February 25, ASSEPKA accused the government of the poor administration of traditional forces, which have been manipulated and politicized. The assembly pointed out as well the disappointments suffered by the long-excluded region and the unemployment affecting large numbers of young people. Both are at the heart of the violence in the region. “However, we have also heard of superstitious rituals: they recruit children and adolescents, give them a potion and a ritual bath, and let them believe that they cannot be harmed by bullets, that they are immortal. And so they commit barbaric crimes, just as if they were under the influence of drugs,” Father Apollinaire added.

The crisis in Kasai caused by Kamwina-Nsapu militia in the southern part of the country is one of five armed conflicts in DRC. An appeal addressed to the Security Council of the United Nations by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference on March  20, 2017, described human rights violations taking place in four other parts of the country: the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) continues to cause problems in the North; North Kivu in the eastern part of the country; Tanganyika province, where fighting has broken out between the Batwa and Bantu, and finally the central part of the country, including the capital of Kinshasa, where political tensions have arisen through the general elections.

After the attacks to the seminar in Malole in Democratic Republic of Congo, 07. April 2017

Democratic Republic of Congo
Father Appolinaire preparing to leave the seminar after the attacks to the seminar in Malole

Rebuilding as soon as possible

Even though the current situation does not permit its implementation at this time, the two representatives of the seminary presented to the pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need a project for the immediate reconstruction of the buildings damaged by looting and fire, to ensure that the seminary will be able to reopen as soon as conditions improve. “Hope keeps us going. We are not just going to wait and see, because we would like our seminarians to be able to complete the interrupted academic year. The next seminary is located 400 kilometres away. The lack of infrastructure, the state of the country and security aspects are such that we cannot send the students there. We would also like to ask all the benefactors and friends of the pastoral charity to pray for peace in our country.”

Together with this request for aid, Father Richard has also made an appeal to the international community, “The Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo is in the same situation as all of the Congolese people. Parts of the population are hiding in the jungle. Schools have been closed, hunger reigns … We dream of an end to this pointless war. Looters from all over the world come here to exploit the country. Anyone who uses modern technology nowadays is in some way using the blood of the Congolese people,” the priest pointed out. With this, he is referring to Coltan, a black ore made of columbite and tantalite used, among other things, in the production of batteries for mobile devices, GPS and computers. Coltan is one of the so-called “blood ores” because its extraction involves human rights violations and is used to finance armed groups and thus to continue existing conflicts.

After the attacks to the seminar in Malole in Democratic Republic of Congo, 07. April 2017

“The suffering of the Congolese is the suffering of the world. Together, we can end this war. It is necessary to stop being indifferent, to end the silence. To say NO to violence, to the industry of death, to the arms factories and the arms trade. Technology should make lives easier, not end lives. We should use it to discuss the hard reality of the Congo, to ask for prayers and international support to uphold life and human rights,” Father Apollinaire continued.

In 2016, Aid to the Church in Need granted more than 4.8 million to fund projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Last year, the pontifical charity supported 41 seminaries in RDC, which benefited 1,229 seminarians.

 

By Maria Lozano, ACN-International
Adapted by: Amanda Bridget Griffin, Aid to the Church in Need  Canada

 

ACN Project of the week : pastorals bicycles and mopeds!

08.06.2016 in ACN Canada, Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, Africa, DRC Congo, International Catholic Charity Aid to the Church in Need, Journey with ACN, MOTORIZATION, Pastoral work, TRANSPORTATION

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Gratitude for two mopeds and eight bicycles for the pastoral team in Poko

 

All across Canada, bicycles have become popular instruments for leisure activities and many people even use them to get to work. 

Elsewhere in the world, this method of transportation becomes a veritable treasure that you, ACN Benefactors, contribute to giving as you have in DRC Congo.

 

In the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the parish of St Augustine, Poko, two priests are delighted to have each received a moped! The catechists are equally pleased to have eight bicycles between them. Thanks to the generosity of our benefactors, who have given $13,920, they now no longer have to spend hours walking to reach their destination.

 

Also rejoicing is the rest of the Catholic faithful who stand to benefit most from these gifts. For now, the priests and the catechists can much more easily access the remoter villages. Now, the people can receive the sacraments more frequently, as well as instructions in their faith, and participate more fully in the life of the Church.2 motorcycles and 8 bikes for the parish St Augustin de Poko

 

Needless to say, this parish is situated in a predominantly rural area. The people here struggle to support themselves on what they are able to grow in the fields. Sadly, the armed conflict in the region has only made their poverty worse and has devastated the local infrastructure – roads, bridges, medical centres, parish centres – everything has been destroyed or damaged.

 

But what the people here need more than anything is spiritual help and support. Therefore these simple items, modes of transportation, funded by our benefactors, have brought untold spiritual blessings to the Catholic faithful of the area. Their heartfelt thanks to you all!

2 motorcycles and 8 bikes for the parish St Augustin de Poko

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Feature Story: 50 years of renewal

15.03.2016 in ACN Canada, ACN SPECIAL SERIES, Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, Africa, By Robert Lalonde, DRC Congo, International Catholic Charity Aid to the Church in Need, Journey with ACN, Pastoral work, RDC CONGO

Democratic Republic of Congo

50 years of renewal

The rhythmic clapping of their hands, accompanied harmoniously by the deep sound of percussion, gently introduced the welcome song which was dedicated to me.  I felt a great joy fill me immediately, and a desire to follow in their footsteps.  This first contact with the Sisters of the Resurrection had convinced me of their power to renew life!

By Robert Lalonde, Artisan of Peace, with special collaboration from ACN Canada*

Adapted and translated by Amanda Bridget Griffin

The birth of the Congregation of the Daughters of the Resurrection is the result of Mother Hadewych’s (as she is called in her circle) long meditation. Mother Hadewych is the Sister from Belgium who inspired its founding.

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Mother Hadewych, co-founder of the Daughters of the Resurrection in the DRC.

 

 

 

At that time, misery had surrounded the Saint Sepulcher convent in Walungu – Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – following tragic events on the heels of independence and the Muléliste rebellion (1960-1964).  These events had created an extreme situation of poverty and a famine which extended out the length of the Walungu territory provoking a pressing desire in the heart of a religious Sister to respond to a passage in the Gospel:  “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)

Mother Hadewych suffered as she witnessed the scenes of great poverty – malnutrition in children within almost every family; women delivering babies in extreme and deplorable conditions; as well as illiteracy within the population.  From this Gospel verse flows  part of this prioress’ charism; “At the service of the poor,” and , “to serve and not to be served.”

The congregation was founded in Walungu in the Archdiocese of Bukavu, in 1966, thanks to material assistance provided by Father Werenfried, founder of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

 

The Golden Jubilee

Last November during my visit, the Mother Prioress, Sister Pétronelle Nkaza, recalled how the founders of her congregation believed that even without a diploma the workers recruited could, with their simplicity, give themselves to be of service to the Lord.  “They had deep faith that love for the other is not achieved solely through studies, but in a life given to the Lord, through the poverty of his children,”  she said on November 5th during the announcement of the Golden Jubilee of the Mirhi congregation, the Mother House, in the Archdiocese of Bukavu.

 

The Sisters of the Resurrection - 50 years of renewal!

The Sisters of the Resurrection – 50 years of renewal!

Mother Hadewych always said:  “help with development is needed for consecrated women in the incessant search of the wailing of their people.”  In her vision, these women “did not need a long formation, but good common-sense, solid arms, love and rootedness at the heart of their people, as well as a pragmatic knowledge-base.”  She imagined them in small teams, serving at posts faraway from parishes and becoming indispensable support to priests.

Long-term support

The work of Mother Hadewych was quickly appreciated as there are today 279 members, 50 of whom are from the Priory in Rwanda, and 229 from the Priory in Mirhi and divided as such:  199 professed 13 novices, and 17 postulants.  The Sisters of the Priory in Rwanda are autonomous.

”In Brazil,” explains Sister Pétronelle, to us, “the presence of our Sisters is quite efficient and also appreciated by the population and by the bishop.  They take care of children in particular, the elderly who have been abandoned, but they also kept watch of the promotion of women by teaching them knitting, sewing, and cooking so that they might better contribute to the family.”

Of course, the fifty year of existence were also marked by tough challenges.  It suffices to recall the martyring of 6 Sisters in Busasamana, Rwanda, in the night of the 8th of January, 1988 and that of 3 more in Kasiska in DRC on August 24th of the same year.

Lake Kivu: a pure marvel in a region where the people suffer a multitude of conflicts and abuses created by the dishonest exploitation of natural resources. The Daughters of the Resurrection are ready to serve the population. (Photo: Robert Lalonde)

Lake Kivu: a pure marvel in a region where the people suffer a multitude of conflicts and abuses created by the dishonest exploitation of natural resources. The Daughters of the Resurrection are ready to serve the population. (Photo: Robert Lalonde)

Sister Petronella concluded all the same on a positive note by specifying that in those 50 years, “the Hand of God had endured.  The Priory of the Resurrection is growing through her members and her works.  It will begin its second fiftieth, certain that God’s Graces will continue to inspire works in favour of the smallest to whom the Resurrected Christ sends His Daughters and His Sons.”

 In conclusion, she wishes to sincerely thank all the benefactors and asking them to “hold the Priory of the Resurrection of Mirhi in their prayers during this Jubilee year so that they are showered all the more with Christ’s benedictions.

 

Since of the birth of this Priory, thanks to the generous donations of our benefactors, ACN is supporting various projects for these Religious Sisters dedicated to the poorest of the poor.  Last year, ACN gave $19,150 for the formation of 13 novices and 19 postulants, $156,000 for subsistence aid in favour of 211 Religious Sisters in DRC and $10,000 in support of their chaplain in various travels.

The majestic Nyiragongo volcano seen from Lake Kivu. (Robert Lalonde)

The majestic Nyiragongo volcano seen from Lake Kivu. (Robert Lalonde)


 

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE – CONGO

20.07.2015 in Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, DRC Congo, International Catholic Charity Aid to the Church in Need, John Pontifex, Persecution of Christians, RDC CONGO

 

DR Congo

Training for terror at age nine

 

 

Reports reveal Islamist training camps for children

Montreal/Surrey, July 20 ,2015 – Jihadist training camps made up of nearly 1,500 children as young as nine have been uncovered in central Africa, according to reports received by a leading Catholic charity at work in the region.  Sources close to Aid to the Church in Need – which cannot be named for security reasons – stated that poverty-stricken children are being lured off the streets of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and taken to remote camps where they are being brutalized and indoctrinated by Islamist militia.

 

Boys, spread across at least three camps in the Ruwenzori Mountains of eastern DRC, have been sighted in camouflage kit doing military exercises watched over by soldiers with guns.The reports go on to describe how up to 60 girls were huddled together in the camps wearing burkhas and were being prepared for marriage to Islamic fighters. Reacting to the reports, Maria Lozano, ACN vice-director of communications, said: “We have been given access to a variety of materials that shows the nature of these camps. “The reports show soldiers wielding rifles, watching over the children aged nine to 15 in military outfits carrying our military exercises. “The images we have seen are very disturbing.” One of the camps is in Medina, about 50 miles from Beni city in the region of which nearly 500 people have been killed in a string of massacres which have taken place since October 2014.

UN peace keeping forces alleged complicit

Ms Lozano said: “We are very concerned for the children as they have been lured off the streets with the promise of an escape from poverty. “Some of the children are orphans but others have left their families after being deceived by recruiters who build up their hopes by offering them the chance to study in the Middle East, Europe or Canada. “The information we have is that the girls are being forced into marriages in which they will be treated as sex slaves.”

The sudden emergence of the jihadist camps is being linked by the ACN sources to UN peace keeping forces with concerns that they are complicit in the camps and that they are intentionally failing to take action against them.

It is alleged that some members of the Mission of the United Nations Organisation for the Stabilization of DR Congo are fundamentalist Muslims from Pakistan who in their spare time in the African country are setting up Quranic schools and working on mosque construction sites.

The ACN contacts have alleged that the mosques have been built in areas where virtually no Muslims were living. Ms Lozano said: “People don’t feel protected by the UN soldiers; the information we have received suggests that they are supporting the jihadist camps or at least they are not taking action against the indoctrination of children and the barbaric treatment of them.” According to the 2014 Journal of International Organisations Studies, 28 of the 44 mosques (63 percent) in the Medina region of DRC were erected between 2005 and 2012. Reports have stated that within a few years Muslim numbers in eastern DRC have risen from 1 percent to 10 percent.

The Catholic bishops of the Ecclesiastical province of Bukavu, in eastern DRC, sent an open letter past May to the country’s President, the UN and international leaders denouncing an upsurge of jihadist fundamentalism in a region traditionally dominated by Christianity and where there have been very few Muslims until now. Ms Lozano stated: “It has already been one month since the Bishops’ Conference sent their urgent appeal to the president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other leaders but nobody has acted.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Democratic Republic of Congo “An abominable, abhorrent and infernal act”

19.03.2015 in ACN PRESS, DRC Congo, Press Release, Uncategorized

Democratic Republic of Congo

“An abominable, abhorrent and infernal act”

Antonia von Alten, ACN International
Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, ACN Canada

 

ACN, Montreal / Königstein – March 18, 2015: The Bishop of Goma, Théophile Kaboy, condemned in the strongest terms the murder of a priest on February 25, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. This was an “abominable, abhorrent and infernal act,” he wrote in a note to the apostolic nunciature in the capital Kinshasa, which the international Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has in its possession. Father Jean-Paul Kakule, treasurer of the parish of Mweso (Goma diocese), was shot dead on February 25 with a machine gun by an unknown assassin as he was closing the church doors in the evening. 

 

Democratic Republic of CongoPortrait of Father Jean-Paul KakuleFather Jean-Paul Kakule (33) is the oldest child of a large Christian family from North Kivu. In 2003 he was consecrated as a priest and had since performed his priestly duties in the parish of Mweso. According to the Bishop of Goma, Jean is the tenth priest to be murdered in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1992. Five sisters of the Congregation of Saint Vincent de Paul disappeared in 1996. There is no trace of them.

What is not clear is whether the murder of Father Jean Paul Kakule is due to common criminality or religious hatred. In the opinion of the Bishop of Goma, the mere presence of clerics in the area of Mweso is a major source of irritation for criminals. The Bishop therefore suspects that the murder of Father Kakule was an act of revenge. The Catholic parish has gained a reputation as an institution which shows crime up for what it is.

Time and again terrorists massacre defenseless villagers. Hundreds of thousands of people are on the run. The population in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo feels extremely insecure, according to Bishop Théophile Kaboy. “Criminal gangs can go about their evil business unhindered because there is no police presence.” The Bishop therefore appeals to those responsible on a national and international level to ensure that there is at last justice and peace in the region.

Democratic Republic of Congo/Goma 07/140Emergency aid for the d

In its current report “Religious Freedom in the World,” Aid to the Church in Need reports about 20 different armed groups marauding in the east of the country. According to the report, three Assumptionist priests were abducted from their parish in Beni (North Kivu) at the end of 2012 – probably by militias of the ADF-NALU, a Ugandan rebel group which is known for its radical Islamist leanings.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is six times the size of Germany and has a population of 65 million. Of these about 96 per cent are Christians (47 per cent Catholics, 49 per cent Protestants).

Aid to the Church in Need supported the pastoral work of the country in 2014 to the tune of 3.8 million dollars. The money was used among other things for church construction projects and cars. Nearly 250 Sisters received subsistence allowances; more than 1000 seminarians received financial assistance for their training. Hundreds of priests, Sisters and lay persons were able to participate in religious exercises thanks to support from Aid to the Church in Need.

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Journey with ACN – The Synod for bishops on the family

10.10.2014 in ACN BENEFACTORS, ACN Canada, ACN International, Brazil, DRC Congo, Ecuador, Family Apostolate, Madagascar, Pastoral aid, Uganda, Zambia

JOURNEY WITH ACN is our Friday 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 :  The Synod for bishops on the family in Rome

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This week, we would like to present you with projects ACN supported  of a family pastoral work nature, in the framework of the the Synod for bishops on the family in Rome taking place until October 19th. 

Brésil ACN-20140723-11616

© Aid to the Church in Need

Brazil

Support for the apostolate of 150 religious sisters in the Archdiocese of São Salvador da Bahia 

Within the archdiocese there are some 50 different congregations of religious sisters involved in pastoral work, including the family apostolate and the religious education of children and young people. The Irmãs Franciscanas Marianas Missionárias have established a daycare and a school here and are helping around 200 young people towards a better future, through training in typing and the use of sewing machines, a joinery workshop and a brick making workshop.

In Sussuarana, in a Favela without any streets, drainage system or electricity supply, there are four Sisters of Divine Providence running a primary school with 237 pupils. Similarly, the Comboni Sisters in Coqueirinho are caring for the children there. Their parents are delighted that their little ones can not only be instructed in basic religious knowledge, but can also obtain a solid meal. ACN is planning to help a total of 153 religious sisters in this archdiocese with a sum of $71,500 .

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 © Aid to the Church in Need


© Aid to the Church in Need

Ecuador

A centre for catechetical instruction in the parish of Saint Arnoldo

In Chimborazo, one of the suburbs of the city of Guayaquil, plagued by extreme poverty, drug-related crime and violence, the Sisters of the Annunciation are running a school for 300 children and also caring for families within the community. Within the space of one year the number of children and adolescents in the parish program has grown from 48 to 252. The sisters have turned to ACN for help to construct two rooms for catechesis. We have promised them $32,000 .

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RDC 20100525_005

© Aid to the Church in Need

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Education for a responsible life

“Education for Life“ is the name of the program run by the Archdiocese of Kinshasa, which seeks to help young people, married couples and families to live a truly Christian life. The most recent campaign was a tremendous success and reached some 55,000 young people and adults. In fact the response was so encouraging that the archdiocese now wishes to extend this program. In order to do so, the books and other educational materials need to be updated and reprinted. ACN has been asked to help and is hoping to be able to contribute the sum of $101,500.

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Madagascar ACN-20140403-06723

© Aid to the Church in Need

Madagascar

Education for life

In the diocese of Farafangana there are two projects – “Education for Life” and “Love and Education for Family Life,” both of which seek to promote the Catholic vision of partnership and sexuality. This educational and training program is being taught in the Catholic schools and parishes. The organizers have written to say that “It is being very well received among the young people and there is a great demand for it.” Inspired by the initial success, they now want to extend this program and provide training for all who are interested. ACN is contributing $25,000.

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 © Aid to the Church in Need


© Aid to the Church in Need

Uganda and Zambia

Youth Alive“ – for a future without AIDS

In the last 15 years over 3 million people have been reached through the “Youth Alive“ AIDS prevention program. This initiative has long since spread to other countries and  now “Youth Alive“ is represented in 80 different countries, mainly on the African continent. Its team of educators, made up of young people for the most part, give talks in schools and parishes on issues such as sexuality and AIDS. Their goal is to prevent the spread of HIV by means of these educational campaigns and at the same time help children and young adults to develop a healthy, proactive approach to life. ACN is helping to support this program, with a total of $130,000 – spread over three years.

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.