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Project of the Week: Support and Training for Sisters in Argentina

Success Story: Help for the support and training of 20 religious of the Missionary Sisters of Jesus Word and Victim   

With an area of a little over a million square miles (2.8 km²), Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world. But the home country of Pope Francis is going through a serious economic crisis today. Poverty is on the increase and even by 2019 some 40% of the country’s 44 million inhabitants were already ranked as living below the poverty line. 

The pandemic has still further exacerbated the problems. Argentina has been hard-hit: in the last week of May 2020 13.5 million infections had been recorded and over 74,000 deaths as a result of Covid-19. Since May 22, the country has once more been in lockdown, as the situation has again dramatically intensified. Every day now there are 30,000 new infections and over 500 deaths.   

The crisis has also hit the Church very hard. Last year the congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Jesus Word and Victim (Misioneras de Jesús Verbo y Víctima), reported that their situation was very, very difficult’Because of the  pandemic they could not even accept the young women waiting to join their community, and they have also had to obtain special permission simply to travel from one departamento, or administrative authority, to another. And their community was also facing real financial difficulty.  

The congregation was founded in 1961 in Peru, and their charism consists especially in ministering to people living in remote and inaccessible regions, where there is a shortage of priests. They devote themselves to the pastoral and social care of the poorest and most marginalized. By today the congregation has grown to over 400 Sisters, working in several different countries of Latin America. Their work takes them on long car journeys from their mission station on rough and unmade roads, or sometimes even travelling on foot, on mule back or by boat, to reach remote villages or farmsteads, often to visit just a handful of families. It is sometimes said of the Sisters that their mission only begins where the metalled roads end. 

‘Today, at this time, the Church needs us more than ever, for men have turned away from God and the Church is so savagely attacked.’

—Sister Maria Augustina  

Currently the congregation has 20 Sisters in Argentina, some of whom are still completing their training. One of these is Sister Maria Augustina. She is 24 years old and has already made her temporary vows. She writes, “I thank God for having allowed me to be a member of this congregation, and I pray every day for the grace to be faithful until my life’s end. It is obvious that, as in every marriage, there will be crosses to be borne and trials to overcome, but these are the moments when we can truly show our love for our crucified Bridegroom and God. Today, at this time, the Church needs us more than ever, for men have turned away from God and the Church is so savagely attacked. 

And she continues, “Trusting in the word of the Lord:  “Be true unto death, and I will give you the crown of life,’” I abandon myself entirely into His divine hands, until that moment when He will call me to our eternal marriage.

Thanks to the help of our generous benefactors, we have been able to give $16,350  for the support of the Sisters of the congregation in Argentina, partly for the training of the younger Sisters and partly for the support of all 20 members of the congregation. They send you their heartfelt thanks and promise to pray for all our generous benefactors!  

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