The Solomon Islands are located in the south Pacific, close to 450 miles east of New Guinea and some 1,600 miles northeast of Australia. Almost all of the population of 130,000 people is Christian today, though most belong to various Protestant communities, with Catholics making up only 13% or so.
The Catholic Diocese of Gizo is based in the town of the same name, the capital city of the island of Ghizo. The parish also covers over 40 islands within a radius of 190 miles. Three native priests and 12 missionaries from various countries of Asia between them minister to the eight parishes of the diocese, each of which likewise covers several islands. In order to reach the faithful, they have to travel by boat for many hours, from island to island, often followed by additional strenuous foot journeys through the bush to reach their final destination.
There are 118 mission stations, and in order for the priests to be able to reach them, they need new outboard motors for each of the seven boats they use. Given the regular heavy use to which they are subjected, these motors suffer severe wear and tear, with the result that after about three years they are no longer reliable and prone to frequent breakdown. This not only hampers mission work but can be fatally dangerous on the open sea.
The outboard motors on these boats have already been in constant use for over seven years and are now in urgent need of replacement. Bishop Luciano Capelli has turned to ACN for help, and we have promised him $22,600 so that he can purchase these seven new outboard motors.
Will you help us fulfill this promise to help provide motors for boats used in pastoral ministry on the Solomon Islands?
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