Family Apostolate


ACN Project of the Week – Supporting the family apostolate in Papua New Guinea

08.05.2019 in ACN International, ACN PROJECTS, Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, Family Apostolate, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea 

Support for the family apostolate in the diocese of Wabag

Papua New Guinea is the largest and most populous country in Oceania. It also has one of the richest and most diverse ecosystems on the planet as well as the most diversity of human societies and cultures, with a total of some 830 different spoken languages.

Most of its 5 million inhabitants follow Christianity today, and roughly half of these are Catholics – though Christianity was in many cases introduced only a few generations ago and is in some cases not deeply rooted in the culture.

Many people in Papua New Guinea have found it difficult to adjust to the extremely rapid social developments associated with the modern information age, while the State in many regions seems unable to fulfill even its most basic duties. The consequences have included a sense of social uprootedness, extensive crime, drug and alcohol addiction, domestic violence and child abuse. The Church is therefore focusing very much upon the family apostolate, since this is the only way to bring about improvement.

In the diocese of Wabag, the work with families is likewise a major priority. Conditions are difficult, however. The diocese is poor and many of the priests also have to support themselves by growing their own food, in addition to carrying out their priestly duties. Most of the faithful live in remote and inaccessible mountain regions, and the parishes are vast, with numerous outstations, while the roads are often nearly impassable. In order to be able to reach as many of the Catholic faithful as possible, there are 13 diocesan committees which operate pastoral and social activities in the parishes, thereby covering almost every area of social life.

Training is also offered to members of the laity that they in turn can carry on the same work independently later on. Along with all this work, the improvement of the practical living circumstances of the people goes hand in hand to deepen and strengthen their faith. ACN has committed to supporting this extensive pastoral outreach program for a period of three years. Our contribution for this year is $45,000.

Are you inspired by this project?
To give and make another similar project a success – click above and select: Project of the Week.

ACN’s Project of the Week – Support for the Catholic the families in Togo

07.03.2019 in ACN BENEFACTORS, ACN Canada, ACN International, ACN PROJECTS, Africa, Aid to the Church in Need Canada, By Eva-Maria Kolmann, Family Apostolate, FORMATION, International Catholic Charity Aid to the Church in Need, Journey with ACN, Togo

The Fédération Africaine d’Action Familiale (FAAF, or African Family Life Federation) is an initiative for the support of healthy families and the protection of life. It involves doctors of various disciplines, theologians, priests, religious and lay pastoral workers. Its aim is to support families and help them to tackle their problems, offering Africa-friendly, family-friendly and pro-life solutions, as opposed to the alien Western-style solutions which many Africans have by now seen through as a “culture of death.” Instead, they seek to promote a “culture of life” of the kind so frequently referred to by the late Pope Saint John Paul II.

In Togo – West Africa –, the programs of the FAAF have been established since 2005. In the diocese of Aneho in the southeast of the country there are five people who have been involved up to now, for example in giving introductory talks and sessions in the parishes, so as to encourage more people to become aware of issues surrounding marriage and the family and train them to be able to accompany families and married couples.


The meetings address such questions as, “What is God‘s plan for marriage?” and “What does it mean to be a mother or a father?” Couples are encouraged to talk together and grow in mutual love and respect. Another important aspect is natural family planning, which observes and respects the natural fertility cycle of the woman. Husbands also learn in this way to respect their wives and respect their bodies. The goal is an education in love, which emphasizes the beauty and value of human sexuality and the human body and the importance of fidelity and responsibility and openness to life. It is the best way to counter such evils as abortion and the spread of AIDS. At the same time, the program aims to help and accompany families and married couples in conflict and crisis.


There is a great demand for these talks and for personal counselling, and they are hoping to be able to train up 10 more female counsellors. Printed information materials are also needed.
Aid to the Church in Need has promised 17,500 dollars in support of this laudable initiative.


Make your donation now to support family education training in Togo. Thank you very much for your generosity.

Are you inspired by this project? To give and make another similar project a success – click above and select: Project of the Week.










ACN Project of the Week: Pastoral care in for families in Pakistan

28.07.2017 in ACN BENEFACTORS, ACN PROJECTS, Family Apostolate, Pakistan, Pakistan, Pastoral work


Supporting Pastoral care for families


The diocese of Hyderabad is located in the southern part of Pakistan and covers a vast territory of over 137,000 km². 

Here live an extraordinarily minority group made up of about 50,000 Catholics, many of whom belong to ethnic minorities, among a population of 28 million Muslims, many of who were formerly Hindus.

These groups find themselves at the very bottom rungs of society, often condemned to work as labourers in the fields of big landowners or as brick makers in the brick furnaces. Generally speaking, they find themselves entirely at the mercy of their wealthy masters. Some also perform menial tasks like street sweeping or toilet cleaning in the towns and are paid very irregularly.  Understandably, because of this financial instability, families often fall into debt. Should a family member fall ill or lose his job, or if his employer fails to pay his wages, the entire family will be forced to borrow money often at extortionate interest rates, resulting of courser in ever deeper debt and thrusting them into a vicious spiral of poverty and dependency. Many families have become trapped for generations in this cycle of debt slavery. It is a very heavy and crushing burden for many people.


Bishop Samson Shukardin writes: “Just to put something on the table each day is a daily battle and a daily reality for these families. The spiral of poverty, unemployment and indebtedness drives many into drug addiction and other forms of dependency and brings upon their families a veritable plague of conflict, arguments, discord and in many cases domestic violence.”


It is the bishop‘s deepest wish to help these families hold together in these difficult circumstances, and live their Christian faith in such a way that peace, harmony and love prevail within them. To fulfill this heartfelt wish, he has established a program to strengthen and support married couples and their families.



Under the direction of a Sister who has spent 25 years working with family apostolate, and with the help of trained and experienced married couples, courses and meetings are being offered in all 17 parishes of the diocese, for young soon to be engaged couples, for married couples in the process of establishing their family and for family groups in general. Topics included among others:  How to be good parents? How can family pray together? How do couples learn how to communicate and respect one another? How can we establish a Christian marriage and a Christian family life, based on the Sacraments?

“They have my full backing and support,” writes the bishop stated in a letter to us, “since the welfare of the family is decisive for the future of the world and of the Church.”

“Only if we nurture the Christian life of families and support them pastorally will the Church be faithful to her mission as a light to the nations.”


We have promised an amount of $18,488 to help in funding these courses for families and married couples in the 17 parishes of the diocese.

Thank you for supporting these Christians in Pakistan!




ACN Project of the Week – Phillipines

10.08.2016 in ACN BENEFACTORS, ACN International, ACN PROJECTS, Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, Family Apostolate, Philippines, Religious education, TRAINING



Training of lay pastoral workers in the marriage and family apostolate

Children with their mother after the Sunday Mass in the Zamboanga Cathedral

Children with their mother after the Sunday Mass in the Zamboanga Cathedral

Zamboanga is the capital of the peninsula region and archdiocese bearing the same name and is found on the island of Mindanao. The archdiocese serves a population of some 620,000 Catholics. In the past, they established a training program for lay pastoral workers across their 27 parishes. Their task was to prepare young couples for the sacrament of marriage and also to provide support and counselling for married couples and families.

Now, in the face of a deepening crisis in the area of marriage and family, more resources are required. The situation being that more and more couples are simply living together and also many marriages and families are simply falling apart.

Therefore, the archdiocese is planning to train 127 lay pastoral workers to work in the parishes and provide counselling and support to married couples and families. They in turn will be supported by volunteers, who will also help and support the families.

The aim of the program is to ensure that families are profoundly rooted in the Word of God and in the Eucharist. That they too can witness to the Gospel, to the respect and the dignity of life from the moment of conception, and come to deepen their understanding of the Church‘s teachings on the sacrament of marriage, the family and human life, while also bearing witness to it in their own lives.

Among the many challenges facing families in this region are poverty and the constant threat of natural disasters. In this precarious situation, many couples simply live together because they believe they cannot afford to get married. Many other challenges also spring from the new media and other technologies, often harmful in their influence and damaging to families and human relationships in general.


Une formation pour les laïcs, sur trois ans, afin d'aider les familles.

A three year training program for lay people to help families.


The idea is to offer these couples and families workshops, seminars and annual retreats, as well as individual counselling and support, to help them in these difficulties. The lay pastoral workers who will run these programs must have themselves first undergone a three-year training course.


Aid to the Church in Need has been supporting this training course for lay workers who have been involved in the program since 2014. In this final year of the training cycle, thanks to our dedicated benefactors, we were able to give 14,500 CAD.



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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


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


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 .


 © Aid to the Church in Need

© Aid to the Church in Need


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 .


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.


Madagascar ACN-20140403-06723

© Aid to the Church in Need


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.



 © 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.

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