World Youth Day in Panama will be the launch-pad for a unique educational grassroots initiative that will gradually spread to all of Central America. The DOCAT is the catholic social teaching of the Catholic Church and the important document contains a foreword from Pope Francis and will be distributed during World Youth Day in huge numbers. A multitude of study groups will be formed in local parishes to study the DOCAT. Archbishop Ulloa Mendieta of Panama says, “Nothing helps our youth more than education. Once they know the Christian social doctrine, they will also know how to fight corruption, end violence, establish democracy, make freedom happen and create wealth with the power of the Gospel”. Together with Pope Francis, he dreams of a revolution of love and justice that will affect all the countries of the region – from Mexico to Panama!

WorldYouthDayDOCAT

Guamà is a municipality in the southern Cuban province of Santiago de Cuba, and Guamà II is a suburb within the municipality. For some 18 years now a team of lay missionaries have been travelling, Sunday after Sunday, into the remote villages of this Guamà II pastoral district to bring the Gospel message of Christ to the people. Sitting in the back of a borrowed truck, they travel for hours on end in all weathers, sometimes up to 150 km (95 miles) on bumpy and dangerous coastal roads, overhung by rocky outcrops. There is no question of comfort, and they even bring their own food and bedding, since the people they are visiting are extremely poor.

Success Story: help for a popular mission in Guamà II, in southern Cuba

Success Story: help for a popular mission in Guamà II, in southern Cuba

ACN 20180918 76930 2

Christine du Coudray, the person responsible for the Africa Department at the Pontifical Foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), returned from a journey to Uganda a few weeks ago. While there she visited the Bidibidi and Imvepi camps located in the north-west of the country. There are 1.2 million refugees, coming for the most part from South Sudan, dispersed throughout the camps in this region, which covers the dioceses of Arua, Nebbi and Gulu. On top of this there are also refugees to be found in the environs of Kampala, the capital located in the centre of the country. In an interview Robert Lalonde gathers some initial impressions of the trip.

 

5Her name is Pastora Mira Garcia and through acts of Christian love and forgiveness in the face of hatred and violence, she has become one of Colombia’s best-known women of faith as her nation is still grappling with the aftermath of decades of unrelenting violence. The past 60 years saw an armed struggle involving Marxist guerillas, government troops and extreme right-wing militias. By the time a controversial peace deal was struck with the largest guerilla group in 2016, by some estimates as many as 900,000 people had died in the conflict and seven million Colombians were displaced.

In September 2017, when Pope Francis visited the country, Pastora was chosen to address the Pope and the nation at large to give a testimony of her commitment to Christ’s commandment to “love one another”. She tells her story in an interview with the Pontifical Foundation Aid to the Church in Need. From the beginning, it has been the charism of the charity to promote reconciliation and forgiveness.

Image above: Pastora Mira Garcia is known as a woman of great faith in Colombia.

Young Christian parents have found a house for themselves and their newborn child thanks to Aid to the Church in Need. For some Christians in Iraq, the future is just a few weeks old.

Baby Timotheus was born in mid-May. “It is my heartfelt wish that my son will be able to grow up in Iraq. God will find a way,” his father Samir hopes. He and his wife Siba are proud parents – and devout Christians. Their baby will be baptised in just a few weeks. The young couple – he is 30, she 25 – live in Bartella, a Christian town on the Nineveh plains near Mosul. The majority of its inhabitants are Syriac Orthodox. 

Iraq Above: Samir (30) lives with his wife Siba and and their baby in Bartella.

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