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“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.
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.
“There is much abuse of all kinds targeting children and women. Divorce and suicide are increasing. … We heard of a woman who tried to throw herself from a bridge because she had no way to feed her children. People talked her down, but for how long? We need a solution.”
“The psychological, spiritual, physical, and humanitarian consequences, as well as those affecting the family, will probably be felt later. The healing is a process. We have started psychological services in one of our houses, and a priest takes part in this process.”
“In many of these countries there is an aggressive tendency which seeks to silence the voice of the Church, especially on family and prolife issues. Many of our project partners have told us that in their countries there is a polarization of society, with increasingly large groups characterized by their extremist positions.”
Before Easter he visited soldiers at checkpoints, which is also part of the work. “We prayed together; we asked God to protect them and to protect Ukraine and we prayed for peace in the world. The Ukrainian Greek Catholic auxiliary Bishop Josyf Milyan of the Kyiv Archeparchy also visited soldiers and civilians who had been affected.”