The indigenous Macuxi people today number around 15,000 and approximately two thirds currently live in the Amazon area of northern Brasil, close to the frontier with Venezuela and Guyana. The remaining third live in Guyana itself. The Macuxi came into contact with the European colonial powers for the first time in the 18th-century. Over the course of time they were enslaved by landowners and forced to work in the rice fields and in the mines. In return they were introduced to cheap alcohol, leaving many of them addicted and causing great harm to their traditional village and family life.
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Venezuela is currently in a state of profound economic and political crisis. Galloping inflation has turned many everyday commodities into unaffordable luxuries. The water supply is inadequate in many areas, the medical care system has virtually collapsed. Insecurity and violence are everywhere and the murder rate is rising.
The congregation of the Missionaries of Faith (Missionari della Fede) is still very young. It was established in 1982 in Italy and has been present in India since 1989, where it is known as the Missionaries of Faith. It began in India with four priests; today it already has two provinces, numerous ordained priests and a high number of new vocations. In fact the number of Indian priests has grown so rapidly that many of them are now being sent into other parts of the world, where there is a shortage of vocations.
South Sudan is the youngest country in the world today. In 2011, when the predominantly Christian and animist South of the country finally declared its independence from the overwhelmingly Muslim North, after a quarter of a century of bloody civil war, there was initially great rejoicing. However, the joy did not last long, for in 2013 South Sudan slipped back once again into a new civil war. And once again - as in so many other countries around the world - the Church is the only institution in which the suffering people can place their trust.
Last year the diocese of Grodno celebrated the 25th anniversary of its foundation. The seminary had been completed a year earlier than that, in fact, when the Soviet Union was still in existence. In the seminary itself the jubilee of the diocese was celebrated on 3rd June, in the presence of the bishop. The very next day three young men were ordained to the priesthood and another to the diaconate. This too was an occasion of great joy. Father Roman Ratchko, the rector of the seminary, has written to thje Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) to say, "On this day of thanksgiving we were united with you in prayer and we asked God’s blessing on our friends, benefactors and on all those kind-hearted people who have helped us and remembered us in their prayers. Dear friends, we were thinking of you because you have done so much good for us over the course of many years.”