“Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”
Mass Stipends for Five Contemplative Albertine Priests in Nicaragua
The monks of Saint Albert are a young, home-grown contemplative order of priests and religious in Nicaragua. Until recently, there were no male contemplative religious orders in this Central American country. The five men who have embraced this religious life in Estelí, in the north of the country, are themselves quite young, aged between 30 and 40. They are ‘pioneers of the monastic life in their home country, and at the same time a testimony to the youth and vitality of the Church in Nicaragua.
After Haiti, Nicaragua is the poorest country in all Latin America, and the Catholic Church herself faces numerous problems here. There are always many pastoral challenges to face, and the political unrest of 2018 also brought great suffering to the Church. Various sects are numerous and very active, and today the proportion of Catholics is barely half the total of the country‘s 6.1 million population. On top of this, an economic crisis hit the Church very hard, particularly the contemplative religious communities.
Then the coronavirus pandemic struck, making things still harder for the brothers. They can no longer accept guests in the monastery, while at the same time the little they did receive in the way of gifts from the people has now all but completely dried up. On top of this, all five men themselves caught the virus, one of them so severely that he required intensive care. The cost of his hospital care was an additional burden for this young Nicaraguan community.
Despite this, the brothers have experienced the pandemic as a time of spiritual deepening. Father Francisco wrote to us to say, “During this time I experienced a growth in my faith life.”
ACN has been regularly supporting these young monks with Mass stipends, and we have helped again recently with $6,600. The Fathers always celebrate these Holy Masses for the intentions of those benefactors who have given them. In this way, in addition to the concrete, material help given, a profound spiritual bond is formed between the benefactors and the priests who are praying for them.
Will you give to support these five contemplative priests living a life of prayer and service in poor and struggling Nicaragua?
We are sure they will gratefully remember your support in their prayers.
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