ACN Project of the Week – Solomon Islands

Outboard motors for seven boats used in the pastoral ministry

Published on the web July 31, 2019

The Solomon Islands are located in the south Pacific, around 720 km east of New Guinea and approximately 2,000 km northeast of Australia. Today, most of the population of 130,000 identify as Christian, though most belong to various Protestant communities. Catholics make up close to 13%.

The Catholic diocese of Gizo is based in a town with the same name, the capital city of the island of Ghizo. However, the parish territory also covers over 40 islands within a radius of 300 km. Three priests native to Gizo and 12 missionaries from various countries of Asia minister to the eight parishes in the diocese between them. Each one also covers a territory encompassing several islands.

In order to reach the faithful, the priests have to travel by boat for many hours, from island to island, often followed by an additional strenuous journey on foot through the bush, to reach their final destination.

Altogether there are 118 mission stations, and in order for the priests to be able to reach them, they now need new outboard motors for each of the seven boats they use. For with the regular heavy use to which they are subjected, these motors suffer severe wear and tear, resulting in usage that makes them no longer reliable and prone to frequent breakdown after 3 years or so. Needless to say, this can be fatally dangerous on the open sea. But in fact, the outboard motors on these boats have already been in constant use for over seven years and are now in urgent need of replacement.

Bishop Luciano Capelli has turned to ACN for help, and we have promised him $30,000 for the purchase of seven new outboard motors.

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