Support for Religious Sisters in Argentina
With an area of a little over a million square miles, Argentina is the eighth largest country in the world. But the home country of Pope Francis is going through a serious economic crisis today. Poverty was on the increase, even as, in 2019, some 40% of the country‘s 44 million inhabitants were already ranked as “poor.” The pandemic further exacerbated the problems, with Argentina being hard-hit: as of mid-June 2021, 14.2 million cases have been recorded and over 87,000 deaths have occurred as a result of COVID-19.
The crisis has also hit the Church very hard. Last year, the congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Jesus Word and Victim reported that their situation was “very, very difficult.” They are facing serious financial difficulties, and, due to COVID, the congregation could not even accept the young women waiting to join their community; they also had to get special permission simply to travel from one departamento, or administrative authority, to another.
The congregation was founded in 1961 in Peru, and their charism consists especially in ministering in remote and inaccessible regions, where there is a shortage of priests. They devote themselves to the pastoral and social care of the poorest and most marginalized. Today the congregation has grown to more than 400 Sisters, working in several different countries of Latin America. Their work takes them on long car journeys from their mission station on rough and unmade roads, or sometimes even travelling on foot, on mule back or by boat, to reach remote villages or farmsteads, often with just a handful of families. It is sometimes said of the Sisters that their mission only starts where the paved roads end.
Currently the congregation has 20 Sisters in Argentina, some of whom are still completing their training. One of these is Sister Maria Augustina. She is 24 years old and has already made her temporary vows. She writes, “I thank God for having allowed me to be a member of this congregation, and I pray every day for the grace to be faithful until my life‘s end. It is obvious that, as in every marriage, there will be crosses to be borne and trials to overcome, but these are the moments when we can truly show our love for our crucified Bridegroom and God. Today, at this time, the Church needs us more than ever, for men have turned away from God and the Church is so savagely attacked.”
She continues, “Trusting in the word of the Lord, ‘Be true unto death, and I will give you the crown of life,’ I abandon myself entirely into His divine hands, until that moment when He will call me to our eternal marriage feast.”
Thanks to the help of our generous benefactors, we have been able to give $13,200 for the support of the Sisters of the congregation in Argentina, partly for the formation of the younger Sisters and partly for the support of all 20 members of the congregation.
The Sisters send you their heartfelt thanks and promise to pray for all our generous benefactors!
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