The Diocese of Nikopol in northern Bulgaria has only some 30,000 Catholics out of a population of almost 3 million. While there are 20 parishes in the diocese, not every parish has its own priest due to a general shortage of priests.
The Franciscans are ministering to the faithful in the towns of Pleven and Asenovo and, given the shortage of priests, they are also helping out in other parishes. To do this they need good transportation, but they only have a car that is now 20 years old. If they want to take children and young people to take part in diocesan youth meetings or other events, they have to hire a bus. Doing this costs money, or else they have to call on people in the parish to help, and they in turn do not always have time or for other reasons are not able to help.
A small minibus of their own would be a major step forward in facilitating the pastoral work of these Franciscans. Such a vehicle would also be extremely useful to them for many other activities. This year, for example the Parish of Pleven is being nominated as a Marian shrine. The desire of the bishop is that the Franciscans transport a pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima through all the parishes of the diocese in order to spread the message of Fatima. Here again they would need a vehicle that offers sufficient space.
ACN has already promised a contribution of $11,000 to enable the Franciscans to purchase a minibus. Will you join in helping them get the transportation they need to do their pastoral work effectively in Bulgaria? We are sure they will remember you in their grateful prayers.
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