“Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”
Repair a Riverboat for Pastoral Work in the Amazon Region of Brazil
The Diocese of Xingu-Altamira in Brazil covers a vast portion of the Amazon rainforest; at over 96,000 square miles, it is larger than the state of Oregon. But while great in size, it is only thinly populated, with about 360,000 residents. Much of the diocese is covered by tropical trees.
Many of those living in the area are migrants from other parts of Brazil, drawn here by employment opportunities with big landowners, mining companies, and construction projects. But social problems like drug and alcohol addiction are widespread.
Close to 70 percent of the population is at least nominally Catholic, and the diocese is divided into 10 parishes. Pastoral work here brings its own particular challenges, and the Catholic faithful must regularly wait for sacraments, religious instruction, and help with their practical problems.
The Parish of Saint Francis Xavier includes numerous outlying villages, forty of which lie on riverbanks and can only be reached by boat. In many of these smaller communities, the priests can only visit every three months, while others are visited every couple of years.
Travel by boat is slow and difficult, and frequently dangerous, too; priests and lay missionaries are on their boats for several days at a time. And while the faithful in Brazil do their best to sustain their spiritual life, with prayers and liturgies of the Word, they nonetheless long for visits and the sacraments.
Such pastoral work is impossible without a boat, and while the parish does have one, it is currently unusable. They have appealed to ACN for help, and we are more than happy to put up the $8,600 required for repairs.
Will you give to the Parish of Saint Francis Xavier so priests and lay missionaries can reach the people of Brazil?
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.