Featured Projects in August
Each month Aid to the Church in Need receives hundreds of project requests from the Church in need, and each month we highlight a few of these projects to show you our benefactors how your donations assist our brothers and sisters in Christ. Thank you for your continued support.
*Senegal - Renovation of a house for a priest to be closer to his Parish
*Colombia - Courses in life skills for vulnerable young people
*Czech Republic - Help for the formation of 24 seminarians at the archdiocesan major seminary and for 11 students at the propedeutic seminary in Olomouc
*Success Story: Thanks to your generosity we were able to refurbish a motor boat for pastoral work in Papua New Guinea.
Senegal - Renovation of a house for a priest
Over 90% of the population of Senegal, in West Africa, are Muslims. Christians make up a minority of just 5% or so among a total population of 15.6 million. The remaining 5% belong to traditional African religions.
The parish of St Charles Lwanga is based in Pandiènou in the town of Pambal, in the west of the country, to the northeast of the capital Dakar. The parish covers a very large area with numerous small towns and villages, and as a result it has been divided up into sectors. Since 2017 Fr Abbé Gabriel Pathé Faye has been responsible for the district of Yendane, which includes several large villages and also the town of Tivaouane. Altogether there are around 3000 Catholics living in the area. They represent only a tiny minority of some 2% of the total population locally.
There is a growing attempt among some sections of the Muslim population to entice away the Christians and persuade them to convert to Islam. Hence it is clear to Fr Abbé Gabriel that he must help his Catholic faithful to remain firm in their faith. But to do this he needs to be close to the people, so that he can minister to them and accompany them more intensively. Above all it is vital to educate the children, so that they can be firmly grounded in their faith for the future.
However, Father Gabriel does not have a permanent residence within his pastoral sector, and this is a trial both for him and for his people, as he cannot minister to then as effectively as he would like to do. Yet, as he himself write to us, “Despite all the difficulties, the faithful are still optimistic about the future. They do not feel alone, as though they were a small, abandoned flock, but instead they are looking to the support of partners such as you, for the glory of God.”
We would like to help him, with AUD $16,400 so that he can renovate a small house in the area and so be able to be closer to his people.
Children in the Diocese of Senegal.
Photographer: Monika Sinzig
Copyright: Aid to the Church in Need
Papua New Guinea - Success Story: refurbishment of a motor boat for pastoral work among the outlying islands
The diocese of Wewak lies on the northern coast of Papua New Guinea. It covers an area of around 14,500 square miles (37,000 km²), making it almost the same size as Switzerland. Yet it has a total population of barely half a million souls, of whom roughly half are Catholics.
Its 48 parishes consequently cover vast areas. For example, the parish of Vokeo comprises eight separate islands, with a scattered population of around 50,000 Catholics. Father Dariusz Wozniak, the parish priest, has to cover long stretches by sea in order to reach his faithful. There is no other option: without a motorboat, his pastoral work would be impossible here.
For many years now his 9-metre motorboat, which he has named after Poland’s famous Black Madonna, has served him well. But over the course of time it has needed many repairs, which have by now practically exhausted his parish budget. Needless to say, there are no spare parts available in Papua New Guinea, and all such spares and other necessary materials have to be imported from abroad.
Happily, thanks to the generosity of our kind benefactors, we have been able to help Father Wozniak to refurbish his boat and make it seaworthy once again. So now his parishioners will no longer have to wait for him in vain. We pass on his heartfelt thanks to all who have helped for this.
Renovation of the motor boat "Black Madonna" for St. Theresa's parish in Vokeo. Papau New Guinea. Copyright Aid to the Church in Need.
Colombia - Courses in life skills for vulnerable young people
For 20 years now the Dominican sisters in Docordò have been trying to help young people, through educational work and intensive personal accompaniment, in order to stop them falling into the clutches of the armed gangs, which are very prevalent and active in the region. For many of these young people are easily manipulated and exploited, often suffering from an inadequate upbringing, a difficult home background and a general aimlessness and lack of direction in life. As a result they can often endanger their own lives as well as the lives of their family members and fellow citizens, losing their sense of moral integrity and thereby becoming an obstacle to the peace and security which their country so desperately needs.
The sisters are trying to help them through educational courses which aim to strengthen these young people, both intellectually and spiritually, so that they can become stronger personalities, more able to tackle the problems of life and with a greater sense of self-confidence and maturity and stronger moral and ethical values. They want to inspire them to deepen their faith and be ready to commit themselves for the kingdom of God, rather than destroying their own lives and that of their fellow citizens. There is a vital need for a solid pastoral outreach in the country generally, in fact, since the population consists of roughly 60% descendants of African slaves and 40% people of indigenous extraction, and there is a widespread cultivation of superstitious and shamanistic practices.
We have supported the Dominican sisters in the past and we wish to help them once again this year in the excellent work they are doing in their educational centre in Docordò. Since the people attending these courses are generally from the poorest backgrounds, they not only cannot afford to pay the cost of these courses but even have to be provided with free board and lodging by the sisters.
We are planning to help with a contribution of AUD $11,012
Spiritual formation of young people, who are in danger because of the rebels in Colombia.Copyright Aid to the Church in Need.
Czech Republic - Help for the formation of 24 seminarians at the archdiocesan major seminary and for 11 students at the propedeutic seminary in Olomouc
The archdiocesan major seminary in Olomouc can look back on a history of almost 230 years – though for around 40 years this period was in fact brutally interrupted by the time of communist persecution. It was not until 1990, after the political upheavals in Eastern Europe, that the seminary was reopened – partly thanks to the help of ACN. By which time the seminary had been neglected and ravaged by the communists and needed to be renovated from top to bottom.
One of the great Church personalities to have emerged from this particular seminary was Cardinal Frantisek Tomášek, who was renowned for his fearless resistance to the communist oppressors. He trained for the priesthood here in Olomouc between 1918 and 1922. In 1951 he was arrested by the communist regime and condemned to forced labour in a quarry. It was not until the end of the Stalinist era, in 1954, that he was finally released.
From 1965 to 1977 he was apostolic administrator of Prague Archdiocese and from 1977 until 1991 Archbishop of Prague. One of the high points in his life was the moment when, at the age of 90, he was able to welcome Pope John Paul II to his country and accompany him on his visit there.Today there are 24 young men training at the major seminary of the archdiocese in Olomouc, plus another 11 students who are currently attending the propedeutic pre-seminary, in preparation for entry to the major seminary. And seven students were also ordained to the diaconate this year, the last stage before ordination to the priesthood.
As it has in the past, ACN is again supporting the seminary for the formation of its 24 seminarians and also the 11 students at the pre-seminary; this year with a contribution of AUD $28,800
Training aid for 24 seminarians and 19 students in Propedeutic of the Archbishop´s seminary in Olomouc for the academic year. Celebration at St.Wenzel Cathedral in Olomouc