The Diocese of Gregorio de Laferrere in Argentina is still very young. Established only in the year 2000, it lies in the area of greater Buenos Aires and close to 80% of its 1.2 million population are Catholics. It is also one of the poorest dioceses in the country and faces many challenges. Not only are the people poor, the school dropout rate is very high, as is the rate of teenage pregnancy, and violence is increasing. There are also extreme levels of pollution and frequent floods which make life all the more difficult in the region.
Thankfully, many local people are still very generous to those who have still less than they do and are wonderfully willing to share the little they have. But there is great need of pastoral care here, especially in the rundown suburbs and above all among young people. The Church needs to be more visibly present here in order to help people live their lives with dignity and put the future of their families on solid footing. Unless they are profoundly rooted Christian values, many young people run the risk of going off the rails.
In some parts of the diocese, many Catholic faithful have to travel 5 or 6 miles to get to church. Bishop Gabriel Bernardo Barba wants to improve the situation and is planning, little by little, to build more chapels locally. For example, there is one very lively community in the Parish of Christ the Worker which runs prayer groups, children’s groups, youth groups, catechetical sessions for adults, a Caritas office, a children’s mission, Scout groups and marriage and family preparation classes.
It is a very large parish, and so there is a need for additional, smaller chapels in remoter areas so that Catholic faithful who live there can more easily attend Holy Mass, Eucharistic adoration and various catechetical sessions. Thanks to the generosity of our benefactors, we have already helped twice for the construction of additional chapels, with $8,700 each time.
In recent years, Catholics in a third area have begun work on a new chapel and attached community center; it is an effort they make with great enthusiasm and at the cost of considerable sacrifice. But they are unable to complete it, since their funds have run out.
We have promised to help once again, with $8,700 so that the building work can at last be completed and the chapel finally consecrated.
Will you give to help us keep our promise to support the building of this new chapel in one of the poorest dioceses in Argentina?
Aid to the Church in Need commits to invest your funds where they will have the greatest impact for the Church that we serve. Funds donated to Aid to the Church in Need’s projects will be used towards the greatest need in our programs to help keep the Faith alive.