Pastoral Solidarity Fund This Weekend, August 16 & 17
The Church in Africa reveals a picture of both suffering and hope. Many people face a daily reality of food insecurity, water shortage, unemployment, lack of medical care, and illiteracy. At the same time, Catholicism is flourishing among the people of Africa. There are many new vocations to the priesthood and the religious life, with many of these new priests and sisters coming to serve the people of the United States. The Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa gives much needed aid to the Church in Africa while expressing the gratitude of the Church in the United States for the warm and generous assistance of the African priests and sisters in our parishes.
In Borana, Ethiopia, the people are traditionally nomadic, often living on the fringes of society with little or no exposure to Christianity. The Spiritan Fathers have been working for the past 40 years in this region. They run a village teaching program and a catechetical program for children, as well as seminars and workshops on the faith for youth and adults. In 2012, the Spiritans offered two weekend workshops for adults and two separate workshops for the youth with a grant from the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa.
Workshop participants increased their sense of ownership toward their faith life and their sense of responsibility toward the work of the Church. In the village of Dhadim, one catechist named Fedha spoke of how the pastoral programs changed lives. He said that the growth of faith in the youth and their witness to the Church are two of the most visible signs of change in his community. Two new churches were opened and 182 parishioners received the Sacrament of Confirmation. The Spiritans also oversee Sunday school teaching programs, which give children a strong foundation in the faith.
With your help, the Church in Africa can actively evangelize the world. Projects like those run by the Spiritan Fathers in Ethiopia care for the spiritual needs of the African people. This allows the Church in Africa to give the world many vocations and a vibrant expression of faith. Please give generously this weekend to the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa.