Support the Training of 28 Young Religious Women in India

In Northeast India, the Catholic Church is still relatively young. In 2016, she celebrated 120 years of ministry here, but in many parts of this region, Catholic missionaries were only able to enter during the second half of the 20th century. This is an isolated and underdeveloped area, marked by political unrest and conflicts, by deep poverty and many other problems. But the Church here is very much alive and vital; now there are almost 2 million Catholics in the region, while the number of vocations to the priesthood and religious life is growing.

The Sisters of the Cross of Chavanod have been working in Northeast India for 37 years now, and recently they established a new regional province for the congregation in the city of Guwahati, in the state of Assam. The congregation has 18 convents in the region, with 96 professed Sisters. They care particularly for physically and mentally handicapped children and for sick people generally.

The Sisters also help young girls from poor family backgrounds who are unable to continue their school education, teaching them useful practical skills such as needlework, sewing and darning, including handmade decorations, so they can later support themselves financially.

They also help families and women, giving encouragement and counseling, and striving to convey the love of God for all by their lives. Given that the Church in this region is still so relatively young, there is a great deal still to be done to help the faith become deeply rooted in people‘s hearts and souls.

At present there are 28 religious Sisters in formation. Like most of the Catholics in this region, they, too, come from poor families and from the ethnic minorities. The congregation needs financial help in order to provide them with a solid spiritual and vocational formation. Some of them will even pursue university studies, to help them better confront the many challenges they face.

This Christmas please help us help these future religious Sisters in India: you will be gratefully remembered in their prayers.

Help for the Training of 83 Seminarians in the Republic of Congo

The Catholic Church Africa is something of a record holder

  • one in every nine priests,
  • one in every four seminarians and
  • one in every six lay Catholics in the world are coming from this continent!

Many of the seminaries are bursting at the seams, and – in contrast to other parts of the world – the number of priests is actually growing year by year.

However, in the Republic of the Congo – also known as Congo Brazzaville – the Catholic faith is only now experiencing a revival. From 1969 to 1991, the country was under a doctrinaire communist regime, and the Church suffered widespread repression and reprisals.

Thankfully, despite the decades of oppression, today approximately one third of the country‘s 5 million inhabitants are Catholics. And despite the fact that the priests in this country often have to live and work in conditions of extreme poverty and in many cases minister to vast territories – vocations are still plentiful.

In the country‘s only major seminary, located in the capital Brazzaville, 83 young men are currently training for the priesthood. Last year, 6 new priests were ordained and 11 seminarians were ordained to the diaconate and themselves now look forward to ordination as priests.

In order to ensure that these future priests receive a sound and solid formation, ACN continues to support the Brazzaville seminary, as it has done for some time. We are going to help so that these 83 young men can continue smoothly on their path to the priesthood.

Please join us in helping these seminarians on their road to the priesthood in the Republic of Congo: you will be remembered in their grateful prayers.

Support Seminarians in the Amazon Region of Peru

The Apostolic Vicariate of Yurimaguas in the east of Peru is mostly in the Amazon rain forest, in an area that is home to various different indigenous Indian groups.

The 224,000 or so Catholics in this region live scattered over an area greater than many small European countries. There are just 25 priests to care for them, and these priest all face long, difficult and dangerous journeys as part of their mission.

Given these conditions, one of the greatest needs of the vicariate is for more priests to help in the task of ministering to the Catholic faithful, bringing them the sacraments and caring for them pastorally.

The vicariate has established a vocations apostolate to meet local needs, and it is already bearing fruit. Currently 19 young men are preparing for ordination. Seven of them are still in their two preparatory years at the Propedutic Seminary of Yurimaguas, while the remaining 12 are already studying at the seminary in the Diocese of Callao, near the capital, Lima.

In years gone by it was heroic European missionaries who braved all the adversities of the region and proclaimed the Good News of the Gospel here. Today their numbers have dwindled and the new, home-grown vocations are coming from the Peruvian people in the parishes they once founded. Being born and brought up in the region, these young men are ideally suited, physically, linguistically and culturally, to working in these climatic conditions among the indigenous peoples of the rain forest.

Aid to the Church in Need are only too happy to support these 19 young men on their path to the priesthood and have promised to help with the cost of their training.

Please help us fulfill our promise to support these seminarians in the Amazon region of Peru.

We are sure they will remember you in their grateful prayers.

Help for the Formation of 50 Young Religious Sisters in Brazil

It was only 30 years ago that the religious institute the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matarà was founded in Argentina. Since then, it has spread throughout the world, with 160 convents in 35 different countries on all five continents of the globe – such is the measure of its success to date.

A particular feature of the Institute is its love for the Eucharist, the Mother of God and the Holy Father. The apostolate of the Sisters covers a wide field –

  • helping the priests in the parishes,
  • giving retreats and catechetical instruction,
  • teaching in schools,
  • working in the youth apostolate. They also give selfless
  • service in orphanages, handicapped children‘s homes, old people‘s homes and hospitals. Some of the Sisters also
  • support expectant mothers in conflict situations, helping them to bring their children safely into the world. A number of them are
  • also involved in the publication of theological books and literature.

The Institute continues to attract many new vocations, particularly in Brazil. Here there are 50 young women currently in formation. They need our support so that they can receive a sound and solid training for the religious life and apostolate they will be engaged in.

Please help us give support the formation of 50 young religious Sisters in Brazil.