Success Story: Training of catechists in the Rainforest
Deep within the jungle of the Peruvian Amazon region lies the apostolic vicariate of Iquitos, a place only accessible by air or by boat. Though this may appeal to an adventurer on holidays, it represents a major challenge for the pastoral workers of the Catholic Church.
The parishes, which are generally made up of numerous small riverside settlements each one, accessible only by river boat have the possibly of being visited only when river levels allow for travel. During certain seasons, like in the summer, when there is very little rain and the water level is low, many of the settlements are simply unreachable.
Consequently, the local catechists play a very important role in the Church as facilitators for prayer with the people in the villages, and instructors in the faith who generally sustain the life of the Church for long periods of the year given that the priests simply cannot each and every individual village as often as would be needed to provide the necessary pastoral care to the people. But now, thanks to the generosity of our benefactors, at least in the parish of Santa Clara of Nanay, the training of these catechists can be improved.
Every month, there is a parish meeting of catechists where workshops are provided and a range of different ongoing training opportunities. And at the same time, the catechists themselves can exchange ideas, based on their own personal experiences. Thanks to our benefactors, ACN was able to contribute $8,400 towards the set-up of this program.
In a letter of thanks, Father Jacek Zygala has written us, saying “It is still too soon to speak about the fruits of our work. We sow, and it is God who gives the harvest. But we are happy and satisfied to have been able to make this project a reality. Without the financial support we have received from you our missionary and evangelization work would be impossible.” He ends his letter with a heartfelt thank you to everybody who has helped!