Hope in Action
Honduras is the second-largest country in Central America and one of its most dangerous, plagued by robberies, abductions, gang warfare, and drug cartels. Social and political inequalities are glaring, and about 70 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. Many of its citizens dream of leaving.
The port town of Magadan in eastern Siberia was first established in 1929 as a concentration camp. Under the Soviet regime, it was the principal center of a regional labor camp system and the port of entry for thousands of deported victims. Until 1991, the area was a strict military exclusion zone.
With an area of more than 225,000 square miles, the Archdiocese of Mary Most Holy, based in the Kazakhstan capital of Nursultan, is larger than all of Spain. But Catholics are only a small minority in Kazakhstan, and given the country's size, pastoral care and outreach are difficult. Forty priests serve the diocese, assisted by about 70 religious sisters of various congregations. The sisters offer religious instruction, care for those in need, and organize parish events, like retreat days, holiday camps, and youth meetings.
The Solomon Islands are located in the South Pacific, about 450 miles east of New Guinea and 1,600 miles northeast of Australia. The islands are predominantly Christian, though most residents identify as Protestant, with Catholics making up only 13 percent of the population.