A Message from National Director Mr Bernard Toutounji
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Greetings. Thank you to those of you who were able to offer support in our last mailing. Many benefactors made a gift in return for a set of the beautiful commemorative rosary beads, inspired by Notre Dame in Paris. This Mirror makes numerous mentions of that tragic fire, and so we have made available again those same beads for those who missed out and are able to make an offering.
We are now half way through the year and requests for pastoral help from the suffering Church continue to come in from around the world; if you have not been able to do so yet this year, could I be so bold as to beg from you an offering, any offering, in the coming weeks?
Anyone giving a donation of $25.00 or more can opt in to receive this moving tribute, a set of rosary beads featuring the Notre Dame Cathedral in France. The Rosary beads have been blessed by Pope Francis.
Call 1800 101 201 to make a donation and to receive your gift. Two colours are available blue and white. While stocks last.
In this E-Mirror, I want to take you to one of our closest neighbours, and share how the Catholic people are looking to us to keep the flame of faith alive. Our brothers and sisters in the Philippines have endured some of the worst atrocities in recent months from ISIS-inspired extremists whose sole aim is to cause religious unrest. In spite of this, the Church continues to strive for peace between Christians and Muslims, particularly amongst the young people.
The Philippines is a predominantly Christian country with a small Muslim minority mainly concentrated in and around the southern Island of Mindanao. In a context of tension between Muslims and Christians, Islamist extremists have carried out a reign of terror in the country.
In May 2017, while Mass was celebrated at St Mary’s Cathedral in Marawi, Islamist extremists desecrated and set fire to the Cathedral after kidnapping Fr Teresito Suganob and 15 parishioners. This terrifying event unfolded into a five-month siege of Marawi. And by the time the government took back control, more than a thousand people had died, nearly 27,000 families had been displaced and the city of Marawi was devastated.
Then, in January 2019, Islamist extremists bombed Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral in Jolo during morning Mass – at least 20 people died and more than 100 were injured. Jolo Cathedral’s Fr Romeo Saniel, told Aid to the Church in Need: “No words can describe the sorrow and pain that we feel these days.”
In the enclosed report ‘Reaching out in Faith’, you will see how through your Christian charity, ACN is able to support people such as Bishop de la Peña who is providing essential relief and trauma healing for his people. The Bishop said: “We help because there is a need and where there is a need that is where God is calling us.” See overleaf for how you can support our key projects in the country.
Once again, thank you so much for standing in faithful solidarity with the persecuted Church in the Philippines, Sri Lanka, the Middle East and around the world.
The month of July is dedicated to the Precious Blood of Christ, so let us ask He who poured out His own life for our salvation to bring the grace of conversion to the whole world.
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