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Fund a New Presbytery for a Parish in Madagascar

After Indonesia, Madagascar is the largest island nation in the world. It lies in the Indian Ocean, off the southeast coast of Africa, and the Catholic Church there is still a missionary Church. Roughly half the population belong to traditional African religions, while Catholics make up a minority of approximately 18%. 

In Saint Joseph‘s Parish in Betatao, a small town around 80 miles northeast of Madagascar’s capital, Tananarive, the number of Catholics is growing strongly, and today already more than a third of the population is Catholic. Two years ago there was a local ordination.  

Madagascar

This year the parish is celebrating the golden jubilee of its founding. It serves an area of nearly 2,000 square miles and includes 40 separate communities. Up until 1981, Jesuits used to run the parish, but today it is ministered to by three diocesan priests.

Father Daniel Richard Rafenomanana, the parish priest, and his two fellow priests certainly have their hands full. They regularly visit numerous outstations in Madagascar, administering the sacraments, proclaiming the faith and helping those in need – with the indispensable support of the Sisters of the Congregation of the Little Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In addition, the Catholic Church runs several schools in the area and is very active in youth work as well. 

At present the priests are living in an old house, built in the traditional manner, which is being constantly battered and damaged by the strong winds and rain. It is also too small for the needs of the parish, which requires additional storerooms and a garage. It also needs guestrooms to accommodate visitors such the local bishop or when seminarians come to spend their stage of practical pastoral experience here. It would also be useful to have a common sitting room where the priests can gather together and strengthen one another in fraternal solidarity, or spend time conversing with their guests.

The Catholic faithful contribute what they can, but there is no way the parish can fund a new presbytery from its own resources. ACN is proposing to help with a contribution of $14,600. 

Will you join in funding the construction of a new presbytery for this parish in Madagascar? 

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.

Code: 134-01-19

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