The Voice of the suffering and persecuted
“Everyday men and women are arbitrarily killed, as our priests were murdered today. The Jesuits in Mexico will continue to speak out against this reality which causes so much harm to society. We will remain, and continue to work for the mission of justice, reconciliation, and peace, through our pastoral, educational and social work.”
In DRC, “the conflict has caused enormous damage: 85 schools and 30 health stations have been burned or destroyed, and several villages have been burned! Thousands of families are still living in the bush because their houses are destroyed.”
“We have parishes that have been practically destroyed, priests who are living in difficult situations because they had to abandon their missions empty-handed; children, elderly people and others are in great need.”
He doesn’t need to do this work, although it is a way of helping the local recycling team. Once all the material has been converted into cash, it becomes a donation to ACN, a precious gift for the suffering Church that comes from sacrifice itself.
There is still hope in the DRC that Pope Francis will become the first Pope to travel to east Congo, a region very badly affected by conflict. “They do hope the Pope will be able to come and deliver this message of reconciliation and compassion, they really count on it.
“As I was lying there, one of the gunmen threw a tiny light close to me. It immediately registered in my head that it could be dynamite, so I started dragging myself away for safety, but before I could go far, the dynamite exploded and burned my back and my left leg.”
The newly approved projects cover a variety of fields, from direct economic and food support for poor families to scholarships. ACN will be paying for summer camps for children and the disabled and provide essential aid for the elderly and the sick, in a country where families earn around 21 dollars per month but need at least around 160 dollars to survive.
The devastating effects of the pandemic in many developing countries demanded a robust response from ACN, with COVID-related projects accounting $10.2M of the 2021 budget. India, which was particularly badly hit by the virus, tops the list in terms of total amount of funding projects, with over $12.7M.
“But then I heard a second loud noise, and I saw parishioners running in different directions in the church. I stood there in shock, wondering what was going on, when someone ran to me, yelling: ‘Father, unknown gunmen!’
“Some of the speculation as to who did it sounds quite logical and fits in with the general situation of our country right now, such as the insecurity, political unrest, and the conflicts between Fulani herdsmen and farmers.”