All-terrain Vehicle for Pastoral Work in Brazil

The Apostolic Prelature of Cristalandia in central western Brazil covers a vast area of over 24,000 square miles – larger than many U.S. states. It has 17 parishes and its close-to 177,000 Catholic faithful live widely scattered. There are just 16 priests to minister to them pastorally, and the distances are vast, making pastoral care a massive challenge. This is especially true because the rural roads themselves are not easy to manage.

The situation is further complicated by the numerous neo-Pentecostal sects that are spreading everywhere throughout Brazil. Thanks to the obligatory ‘tithes’ they demand from their members, the ‘temples’ of these sects are springing up everywhere, in almost every single settlement.

Bishop Wellington de Queiroz Vieira, who has been in charge of the prelature only since last year, wants to be close to his Catholic faithful. As a result, he is constantly traveling, visiting various parishes. He also wants to generally strengthen the pastoral care within his prelature and consequently plans to improve the training of the catechists and intensify the catechetical outreach to root the Catholic faithful more deeply in their faith.

The bishop especially wants to encourage better preparation for the sacraments of baptism and matrimony and greater help for families, in particular by helping them to see marriage and family not merely as “one option among many” but as a real vocation.

He also wants to encourage prayer within the family, knowing that generally speaking the family is the first and best “school of love and faith” and the first place the children will experience these things. He is also encouraging Bible courses to help people better know and understand the Good News of the Gospel. Finally, he wants to encourage youth work and the vocations apostolate.

With all this in mind, and given the massive distances the bishop has to cover within his prelature, it is vital for the bishop to have a solid and robust all-terrain vehicle. He has turned to ACN for help, and we are proposing to help him obtain a suitable vehicle.

As a Christmas Gift of Faith help us provide Bishop Vieira with the sturdy vehicle he needs to reach his people in Brazil and help them in their time of need.

A Vehicle for Pastoral Work in Algeria

In Algeria, the birthplace of Saint Augustine, there are approximately 5,000 Catholics living today. Algeria, in Northwest Africa, is the largest country in Africa, with an area of almost 930,000 square miles – around one quarter the size of the United States. Close to 97% of its 36.5 million inhabitants are Muslims. The few Christians who live in the country are widely scattered. Moreover, they have to tread very carefully or they will be accused of proselytizing among the Muslim majority.

Father Paul-Elie Cheknoun is a young Algerian priest, ordained in 2016. He grew up in Algeria, though he trained for the priesthood in France. After his ordination, his French bishop sent him to Algeria in response to a request from the Archbishop of Algiers, who needed a priest to serve the Catholic faithful there.

Father Paul has to cover very long distances reach his Catholic faithful. Consequently, he has urgent need of a suitable vehicle. He has turned to ACN to help.

As a Christmas Gift of Faith, please help us help Father Paul purchase a vehicle so that he can reach the faithful in Algeria.

As he wrote to us: “By helping me you will be helping the Christians of Algeria, to whom I have dedicated my life.”

Transport for Priest and Sisters

In many parts of the world, it takes a huge effort to share the Good News and minister to the faithful in remote regions. Priests and Sisters often undertake journeys that can be long and arduous without the proper means of transportation.

For example, priests in the city of Kemerovo, Siberia, often travel long distances over rough terrain – but they can only reach five of the ten towns they have to visit. These priests can only carry out their full pastoral ministry if they have a reliable means of transport.

This Christmas as a Gift of Faith please help us provide transport for Priests and Sisters who struggle to reach remote parts of the world in order to bring the word of God to the faithful.

Transport for Dominican Sisters in Russia

Since 2004, a community of Polish nuns, the Dominican Sisters of Jesus and Mary, has been working in Russia. Two of the nuns are working in two Catholic parishes in central Russia, one in the town of Orjol, where the Sisters also have their convent, and the other in Brjansk. The two towns are about 85 miles apart, so the Sisters have to travel a long way in order to fulfill their apostolate.

The Sisters are involved in many different tasks – organizing retreats, visiting the sick and taking them Holy Communion, maintaining and caring for the churches in the two parishes, playing the organ and conducting Liturgies of the Word in the absence of the priest.

Other Sisters from this congregation have now also established a house in Voronesh, so the Sisters from Orjol have been called on to support their new fellow Sisters in their work. But this involves a long journey: 250 miles, or five hours by car. Other forms of transportation take even longer and are much more complicated and expensive. But the old car the Sisters have been using is causing more and more problems and becoming more of a hindrance than a help, partly because it does not meet the Russian environmental norms and so is becoming increasingly expensive to maintain as a result.

Now the Sisters need to purchase a new car, which will make life much easier for them and better able them to carry out their work of service. The Dominican Sisters get no wages but do everything for the love of God. They have no other source of income but what the congregation and the charity of kind people can supply. They have just about enough to manage daily on their very modest lifestyle, but they cannot even dream of buying a new car.

The Sisters are counting on the kindness of ACN benefactors, and we have promised to help.

Please help us fulfill our promise to provide these Dominican Sisters with the transport they need for their great work in Russia: You will be remembered in their grateful prayers.