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The Papal Foundation has awarded support to over 100 programs and projects in 2020. Grants and scholarships have totaled $11,000,000 as of yet, and reach around the world.
Central and South America
Albania – $50,000
The Parish of Saint Roch is composed of six different churches located in their respective villages near the town of Rranxa-Bushat in the northern part of Albania. One nearby village of Melgushë has about 1,000 Catholics. The village church was consecrated in 1996, five years after the fall of communism and constructed largely through the efforts of the parishoners. When the cracks started to appear in the walls, the pastor began to worry. They also noticed problems with the roof, the result of the poor quality of building materials used. Last year a team of experts from Italy came to study the problem and offer suggestions. It seems that adequate attention was not given to the safety of the building, an oversight of mostly volunteer construction work. For example, the terrain on which it is built is clay and has started to slide. The church’s foundations are not deep enough for this type of terrain, which presents a danger for those in the church. A 2019 earthquake damaged the building even further. It was advised that the parish rebuild the church on different terrain as the repairs would be expensive and would not completely address the safety issues. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Albania – $100,000
The Atë Shtjefën Gjeçovi school in the Diocese of Lezhë was founded in 2006 by the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, who have been present in Albania since 1992 and work in parishes, in elementary and household schools, in kindergartens and religious education. There are currently 130 sisters in the Province of Montenegro (covering Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro). The school is entirely funded by the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, relies on donations and school fees and receives no state funding. It serves over 500 children, of whom 40 are from poor families whose education is supported solely by the school’s existing funds. At the request of the parents, the school extended its hours from 8am to 5pm. The present aluminium windows with poor insulation cause the school to spend a large sum of money for heating. In order to make the school more energy efficient and to increase the quality of the environment for teaching and other activities, it is necessary to replace the current windows for those of better quality. The curtains also need replacing. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Estonia – $11,000
Estonia, one of the Baltic states between Finland and Russia, is one of the most secularized countries in Europe after fifty years under the Soviet rule. The small Catholic community of about 6,000 to 7,000 people is steadily increasing in a country where about 80% of the population has no religion. Presently, Estonia has only a provisional translation of certain parts of the Roman Missal. This first partial translation was only done in 1991 since during the Soviet occupation such a translation was not possible. This translation contained only the main parts of the Mass. The project to translate the remaining 40% of the Missal was started in 2019. The intention is to complete the translation by 2021. A review and correction of the parts already translated is also needed. This project is important for the liturgical and spiritual life of the Church in Estonia.
Estonia – $20,000
Estonia, one of the Baltic states between Finland and Russia, was under Soviet rule for 50 years. The small catholic community is steadily increasing in a country where about 80% of the population has no religion. The Apostolic Administration has a Centre in Kodasema, which has been used since 1991 to host camps for youth and children, as well as for people with special needs. The building on the property was part of a Soviet Kolkhose (collective farm). To meet the current safety requirements, the building needs to be renovated. The works include the installation of an external evacuation staircase, repairs to the façade, the removal of the old roof and the installation of a new one, the renovation of the third floor, and the replacement of doors and windows. The estimated total cost of the project is $171,289. The present Covid-19 situation and the subsequent lockdown have greatly strained the economic resources of the Apostolic Administration, which cannot afford to support the entire cost. Portions of this sum may also be used to cover the participation fee of campers who are unable to afford it.
Estonia – $15,000
Sillamäe is a town situated in the northeastern part of Estonia with almost 20,000 inhabitants, mainly Russian, as it was once a Soviet military town. The church at Sillamäe was built in 1998 and also serves the surrounding localities. Due to harsh weather conditions and its being close to the sea, the roof of the church needs urgent repairs. The estimated total cost of the project is $30,095. Even though Estonia is relatively richer than some other countries of the former Soviet Union, the small Estonian Church struggles because of the higher cost of living. Due to the Covid-19 crisis and the subsequent lockdown, the resources of the Apostolic Administration have diminished.
Georgia – $75,603
The Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani Catholic University was started in 2002 as a Theological Institute which conducted cross-curricular theological and educational work in the fields of history, philosophy and culture. The Institute was further expanded in 2009 to include law. At that time it also obtained University status. Presently, there are three faculties in the University: Law, Business and Tourism, and Humanities and Social Sciences. This is the only Catholic university in the Caucasus region. According to the strategic plan of the university, doctoral degrees in Theology and Jurisprudence will be added in 2021, raising the university to the level of a research institution. However, the university lacks a seminar hall and a space for student meetings, a requirement for institutes of higher education. The university would like to transform an existing terrace into a multipurpose space (€56,000) suited to both informal gatherings and lectures with amphitheatre type seating in one corner of the room. The furnishings (€8,000) will also include chairs, desks, closets, a projector, a monitor and a computer.
Latvia – $37,823
The Riga Catholic Gymnasium was established by the Archdiocese of Riga in 1992. In the present situation of dominating secular education, it plays a significant role in the Christian education of young people in Lithuania. It provides education at the preschool, secondary and gymnasium levels. During the study period every morning, Mass is celebrated for the pupils, their parents, the teachers and members of the local parish. At present there are 280 pupils attending the Gymnasium, an increase of 40 students in comparison to the previous year. The total cost of operations for the Gymnasium for the 2019-2020 school year was approximately $797,378. The State and local municipalities cover 59% of this sum ($470,157). A substantial part is covered by the parents ($152,388), through donations from the Archdiocese and through other income. However, a deficit still remains to be paid. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Lithuania – $100,000
The Diocese of Telšiai is the largest territorial Diocese in Lithuania. The Chancery building was built around 1930 and was later confiscated by the Soviet regime. In 1946, the Bishop at the time, now Servant of God Vincentas Borisevičius, was arrested and killed. The building was returned to the Diocese in 1989 and a partial reconstruction was completed in order to make it functional. The Chancery is the centre of all pastoral activity of the local Church. Work on the exterior of the Chancery building has been completed, with funds given by the European Union. The interior of the building (comprised of a basement, two floors and an attic) requires extensive renovation. Some new systems (heating, water and electrical) have been installed, and a partial replacement of the windows has been completed. The remaining work includes the renovation of office space, the Diocesan archives, meeting rooms and living quarters for the Bishop, Vicar General, Chancellor and other priests. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Romania – $100,000
For a number of years the Diocese of Iaşi (Romania) has worked toward the realization of a parish complex in Gheraesti, and received aid from the Papal Foundation in 2017 for this purpose. The Church of Divine Mercy is at the center of the complex which includes a recently completed 45-bed nursing home and Holy Family Kindergarten. The church building itself is in the final stages of completion: interior finishing, electrical installations, heating installations and the purchase and installation of equipment. The Bishop is asking for financial support to purchase and install the heating units.
Russia – $95,812
The Church of Our Lady of the Pacific is located in Nakhodka within the Diocese of Saint Joseph in Irkutsk. The Parish was canonically established on 15 November 1994, at first utilizing rented space for the celebration of Mass and religious education. In 2004 the Parish purchased a four-room apartment to serve as the chapel, space for meetings and religious education classes and the parish offices. There is at present a growing Catholic presence in Nakhodka, composed principally of persons of Polish, Baltic and Ukrainian descent. In 2012 the Diocese decided that a permanent church should be constructed in order to respond to the pastoral needs of Catholics in the region. Land was donated free of charge by the City Council and the church building was begun. The Bishop believes that a permanent church will serve the mission of evangelization and promote local vocations among Catholic young people. The present project, for which funds are being requested, involves finishing the cement and tile flooring within the church and the construction of three stairways and a choir loft.
Ukraine – $100,000
Theodore Romzha was beatified in 2001 by Saint Pope John Paul II. At the time of his death in 1947 he was, as the Bishop of Mukachevo, making a pastoral visit to Ivanivtsi and the neighbouring villages when he was attacked and later poisoned by the Communist government. In the succeeding years, the Soviet government confiscated the churches used by the Greek Catholic community and handed them over to the Russian Orthodox church. Following the fall of Communism in 1989, the Orthodox have graciously shared the church space with the Greek Catholic community. Despite the generosity of the Russian Orthodox church, it still remains that the Greek Catholic community has no churches of its own. To this end, the Greek Catholic Community would like to build a church and dedicate it to the memory of Blessed Theodore. They envision the church as a pilgrimage centre which would include an outdoor altar and a bell tower. The village of Ivanivtsi has allotted a plot of land for this purpose. Work has already begun on the church thanks to the local contributions (40% of the total cost). The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Ukraine – $100,000
In 2018, with the help of the Papal Foundation, the Archdiocese of Kyiv-Halych completed construction of the main offices of the curia. The last need to be addressed was that of constructing a Synod Hall where the 52 Bishops of the Greek Ukrainian Catholic Church could conduct their meetings and hold symposiums, trainings and seminars. The facilities include a synod hall, a smaller conference room, various offices, kitchen and dining room, reception area and laundry. The construction of the facilities are being completed and the Archbishop would like to purchase equipment for audio, video and simultaneous translation systems, and to install an elevator and purchase furniture for the Synod Hall and Offices. In addition to the local contribution, two other organizations are being approached for assistance. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Angola – $70,322
The Diocese of Caxito was erected in 2007 and has 18 parishes, most of which are located along the main road running from Luanda to Caxito. Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Panguila is divided into eight local communities or quasi-Parishes, seven of which lack a fitting structure for worship. Founded in 2018, Saint Paul is one of the local communities without a church building. Mass is celebrated three times a week in a sheet metal chapel, a structure that resembles a picnic pavilion more than a church, due to its lack of walls. The space in this chapel is so small that all of the 300 faithful cannot fit inside. This leads to Mass, catechesis and other instructional events taking place in the open air, which are then cancelled when it rains or when the weather is too hot. To remedy this, the Pastor would like to build a church and furnish it with 60 benches. The church area will be fenced to preserve a climate of prayer in since it will be situated off the main road. The Pastor would also like to install two toilets for men and two for women. At the district does not have running water, a 20,000-liter water tank would need to be installed.
Angola – $98,374
The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate arrived in Angola in 1993. The Fathers, who do parish, prison, school and pastoral work, staff Saint Mark’s Parish in Belomonte, a poor district with a population of 170,000. Education remains an important challenge in Angola because of the painful civil war that lasted more than 25 years. Children living outside the major cities often do not have many opportunities for receiving a good education. The Fathers would like to construct a school with six classrooms to help educate the children of the neighborhood and to provide a safe place to study. Approximately 260 people will benefit from this school. The construction is expected to take six months.
Benin – $80,765
The beginnings of the Catholic faith in Azové date to 1912, when the first baptism took place. The first church was built in 1951, and today the parish of the Immaculate Conception serves an area with a population of 100,000. By 2005, the number of faithful present for Sunday Mass exceeded the capacity of the original church; the construction of a new church that would seat 2,000 people began in 2008. Thanks to the efforts of the parishioners, a great part of the church building has been completed. Despite this, the church remains unfinished. The work to be completed includes: the design and placement of doors; installation of flooring, lighting, ceiling, ventilation and gutters; painting and interior furnishings. At present, however, the economic condition of the area and of its inhabitants has declined, and the contributions of the faithful are no longer enough to complete the church without external funding. The amount requested from the Papal Foundation represents the entire cost of finishing the construction.
Burkina Faso – $100,000
The Diocese of Ouahigouya has 87 priests and is expecting in the coming year to ordain four more. The next seven years foresee the ordination of approximately 50 more men. Though the average life expectancy for men in Burkina Faso is 49 years, there are ten priests in the Diocese who are 62 years old or older. These priests continue to live in the parishes with their younger confreres and those who are able serve as confessors, offer counselling and celebrate Mass. Along with wisdom, age brings with it many challenges, including physical and mental ailments and limitations. These conditions make it difficult for the elderly or infirm priests to remain in the parish rectory because the house is not adapted to their infirmities and because it draws the other priests from their ministries in order to care for their older confreres. Of the ten older priests, five are in their sixties, four are in their seventies and one is over 80. Two have physical handicaps, two need assistance with daily activities, one is not well mentally, and another has a chronic illness. There is also a priest, age 62, who has difficulty with vision. The Diocese would like to build a residence for these priests with 10 bedrooms, a common dining room and a chapel. It will be built on the property of the Diocesan Marian Shrine, which will permit those priests who are able to hear the confessions of the pilgrims and to offer Mass. The management of the residence will be entrusted to a Congregation of Sisters from Rwanda who are trained in the care of the elderly.
Burkina Faso – $24,950
The Parish of St Michel de Tanghin Dassouri was founded in 1980 by the Society of African Missions and is served by four priests, one of whom is a student. The village in which it is situated is 40 km from Ouagadougou. The majority of the inhabitants are Catholic. The parish has a developed catechetical program to prepare for the reception of the sacraments. Because the parish covers a vast territory, it is not always possible for a priest to come and celebrate Mass. The catechists, therefore, lead the morning prayer, celebrate the Liturgy of the Word and lead the Rosary. Over the years the number of faithful has grown and they are a vibrant and dynamic Catholic community. Despite its proximity to the capital city, the village has been grossly neglected with little infrastructure. The primary school, which was built three years ago, has no teachers and so the children must attend school in the neighboring village 5 km away. The village also has no health center or clinic. But, the biggest problem that Catholics face is the lack of a place to worship. Mass is often held in the open air or in a small shed. In the blistering heat or in the damp winters, it is difficult for the priest to find a place where the sacraments can be administered. The faithful often sit beneath the trees for shade, but as a result, they may not hear or understand what the priest is saying. For several years the community has slowly collected money in order to build a chapel, but lacks sufficient means to finance the entire project.
Burkina Faso – $55,790
The Pallottine Fathers of the Christ the King Province in Warsaw, Poland, established their first mission in Africa (Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 1973. At the behest of the Cardinal Archbishop of Ouagadougou, the Fathers were invited to open a mission in Burkina Faso in 2018 and in September 2019 were entrusted with the newly erected parish at the Divine Mercy chapel in Tengandogo. The parish serves approximately 20,000 Catholics in 21 Basic Christian Communities. The Cardinal intends that this parish become a center for Divine Mercy spirituality and the home of a future shrine. In 2016 a chapel dedicated to the Divine Mercy was built in Tengandogo, but in light of its recent elevation as a parish, it lacks a space to house the five priests who will serve there. In the meantime, the community is renting a house until a proper residence can be built. It will include: a chapel, a kitchen and dining room, which will also double as a meeting room, a room to receive guests, seven bedrooms and a storage room. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Burundi – $100,000
The Pallottine Fathers of the Christ the King Province in Warsaw, Poland, established their first mission in Africa (Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 1973. At the behest of the Cardinal Archbishop of Ouagadougou, the Fathers were invited to open a mission in Burkina Faso in 2018 and in September 2019 were entrusted with the newly erected parish at the Divine Mercy chapel in Tengandogo. The parish serves approximately 20,000 Catholics in 21 Basic Christian Communities. The Cardinal intends that this parish become a center for Divine Mercy spirituality and the home of a future shrine. In 2016 a chapel dedicated to the Divine Mercy was built in Tengandogo, but in light of its recent elevation as a parish, it lacks a space to house the five priests who will serve there. In the meantime, the community is renting a house until a proper residence can be built. It will include: a chapel, a kitchen and dining room, which will also double as a meeting room, a room to receive guests, seven bedrooms and a storage room. The Pallottine Fathers are contributing 20% of the necessary funding. The local contribution represents 15% of the cost and the remainder is being sought from various organizations.
Burundi – $100,000
Since 1993, Burundi has experienced internal strife and ethnic conflict, resulting in a climate of hatred, vengeance, exclusion and intolerance. In order to help build a culture of peace and reconciliation, the Episcopal Conference organized several Diocesan Synods from 2007 to 2012. One recommendation of these Synods was to create a Centre that would allow the Church in Burundi to better coordinate its pastoral and educational activities for peace and reconciliation. The Episcopal Conference of Burundi has made the building of the Centre, named “Oasis of Peace and Reconciliation”, a pastoral priority. The Centre seeks to provide a place for the formation of young people, politicians and intellectuals called to work for peace and reconciliation within the nation. Because the various commissions established by the Bishops to engage in this mission were scattered throughout the different regions of the country, the creation of one national centre would allow greater coordination and planning on the part of the Episcopal Conference. For this reason the centre will be located in Bujumbura, the seat of the Conference. It will include a chapel seating 400 people, meeting rooms for 500 people, office space for the Secretariat of the Episcopal Conference, living quarters for clergy and religious attached to the Episcopal Conference, and resident quarters for the religious who will manage the Centre. The construction is complete and the Episcopal Conference is seeking financial assistance in furnishing it (tables, chairs, plates, bowls, cups, silverware, wardrobes, TV, desks, beds, etc). The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Cameroon – $100,000
The Diocese of Ngaoundere was erected in 1982 and includes 26 parishes, 19 chaplaincies and 5 pastoral zones. There are 57 priests and 31 seminarians, double the number from four years ago. The Diocese is situated in one of the most unstable areas of Cameroon, afflicted by armed robbery, by the continuous movement of the population and by the infiltration of terror cells of Boko Haram. From the religious point of view, the local Church is in a phase of constant growth and this brings with it great challenges. The problem faced by the Diocese is the lack of a place for the formation of catechists and the coordination of pastoral programs. Not having adequate means of accompanying the faithful causes many to succumb to the enticements of other sects. In addition to more than 360 catechists, the Diocese has identified the need to form those laity, numbering nearly 850, who assist in other Church sponsored social and pastoral undertakings as nurses, teachers, members of Caritas and members of parochial justice and peace movements. To facilitate these formation programs, the Diocese is building a Pastoral Center. The first phase of construction, which is already underway, includes 40 bedrooms, a dining room and a meeting room. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Cameroon – $100,000
The parish of Saint Joseph was founded in 1950 in Moutourwa in the northeastern part of Cameroon. The parish, under the care of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), is divided into three sectors. In the sector Saint Jean in Damaï, the Catholics number 2,500 people. Though Christians make up 60% of the population, the Muslims, only 10% of the population, have a great influence on the region, especially in matters of commerce. The tensions between the two religious groups is exacerbated by the terrorism of Boko Haram. The sector Saint Jean in Damaï lacks a church building. Mass is generally held outdoors, but must be suspended during the rainy season. The outdoor Masses pose their own difficulties from the distraction of animals to gusts of wind blowing over the sacred vessels. The church has also lost some of the faithful to Islam, for their beautifully decorated mosques, and some have returned to native religions or syncretism. To resolve this the communities have tried to construct “hut chapels”, but they are easily destroyed by the wind. The local effort to build a suitable church has been limited to the production of bricks. Considering the primitive conditions in which the people live – no electricity, basic farming, no tarred roads – the construction of a church is not possible without external help. The proposed church would have a capacity of 700 to 1000 people. Additionally, the pastor would like to create a Center for the formation of young people in order to promote a spirit of ecumenism and tolerance between the faiths. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Chad – $82,000
The Diocese of Sarh is located in the rural, southwestern part of Chad and serves approximately 200,000 Catholics. The Diocese has nineteen parishes and three mission stations which are in the process of becoming parishes. The parish of Koumogo has two priests and 236 catechists who serve the 5,000 Catholics and 1,800 catechumens spread over 96 villages. After his installation in 2018, the Bishop visited all the parishes and mission stations in the Diocese, noting with concern that the Diocesan priests live in old, dilapidated houses without plumbing and electricity. Though the priests do not complain about the conditions, the Bishop wants to begin providing them with a better minimum standard of living. The worst of the rectories is in Koumogo. The Bishop would like to construct a rectory. One wing will contain 3 bedrooms with bathrooms, a small kitchenette and a combined living/dining room. A second wing will contain a larger kitchen, a storeroom, a garage and a laundry.
Chad – $90,452
The Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace was burned during the civil war in Chad (1979-1985). Since that time, a temporary roof was in place, while a new roof, identical to the original, was being fabricated. The Archdiocese, recognizing the symbolic value of the original roof of the Cathedral, proposes to renovate that roof and install it on the parish church of Saint Francis of Assisi in Gassi. Saint Francis of Assisi Parish, which counts nearly 2,000 faithful, is in the process of erecting a church building for the celebration of the sacraments and the Mass. Most of the structure has been put in place, but it lacks a permanent roof. The proposed project involves preparing and reinforcing the existing foundation, church walls, and electrical systems to receive the renovated roof from the Cathedral. The cost of the roof renovation itself includes carpentry, electrical and lighting work, together with painting and other decorative ornamentation. The project is broken into five phases, the first of which concerns the work on the foundation and is the object of this present request. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Congo, Dem Rep – $90,000
The Soeurs de Marie au Kwango (“Sisters of Mary of Kwango”) is a diocesan religious Congregation founded in 1937 with the aim of serving the poor in the Diocese of Kikwit. Over the years, the Congregation has expanded and now numbers 126 Sisters and 6 novices who serve in three other dioceses in addition to Kikwit. Their mission is to provide education, health care and other works of charity on behalf of orphans and other persons living in economically and socially disadvantaged conditions. The principal activity of the Sisters in Kikwit is to care for and educate unwed and abandoned mothers in the region. At present, the Sisters must travel to Kikwit, either by taxi or motorcycle, on roads that are in poor condition and in danger of being flooded in the rainy season. In order to facilitate the Sisters’ mission and religious life and to provide for their safety, the Congregation wishes to build a new convent in Kikwit that would house 6 or 7 Sisters, each having a bedroom and private bath. The new convent would also include a chapel, a kitchen and dining room, and a parlour.
Congo, Dem Rep – $98,077
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is among the poorest countries of the world. A large part of the population does not have an adequate diet; this contributes to an increasing frequency of health problems. Lack of medical insurance and stable employment leaves many families unable to pay for necessary healthcare. To meet these needs, the Archdiocese of Kinshasa established the Saint Joseph Hospital in 1978. It is the only Catholic hospital in Kinshasa and serves more than 50,000 people per year, 75% of whom are poor and homeless. At present, the hospital lacks a dialysis centre, forcing patients with renal problems to travel for hours to another centre for diagnosis and treatment. The Hospital seeks to build its own centre for dialysis to ensure proper and dignified medical support for the sick. The project includes three offices for medical personnel, a reception and waiting area and a dialysis treatment room with a ten person capacity. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Congo, Dem Rep – $80,000
Since its inauguration in October 2017, the Parish of Saint Jean Paul II, located in the Diata neighborhood of Brazzaville, has attracted a number of children belonging to families living on the threshold of poverty. In reflecting on the situation of the children, the Pastor has decided to construct an elementary school on the parish property. The construction is already underway. The school, which will be two stories high, will contain a multipurpose room, two offices, six toilets, two storage rooms and seven classrooms. The $80,000 requested will enable the Pastor to complete the work on the ground floor: six classrooms and one storage room. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Cote D'Ivoire – $89,441
Founded in 1876 in France, the Sisters of Our Lady of the Apostles serve as missionaries in bringing the Gospel to the poor, particularly in Africa. The Sisters have been present in the Archdiocese of Abidjan for more than fifty years, working to promote the human and spiritual development of children through education. The school Notre Dame des Apôtre serves children coming primarily from Adjamé, a poor quarter of Abidjan, the economic capital of the Ivory Coast. The present school building is becoming more and more structurally unsound. The Sisters propose to renovate the existing building, demolishing the unsound parts and reinforcing what can be saved with new masonry, carpentry work, woodwork and a new roof. New electrical systems, bathrooms, tile flooring and roofing are also planned.
Cote D'Ivoire – $43,961
Notre Dame des Victoires is a newly created parish in Korhogo, the largest city in the northern part of Cȏte d’Ivoire. The region is primarily agricultural and very poor, composed largely of Muslims and animists. The Archdiocese of Korhogo has twenty-five parishes, twenty-four diocesan priests, sixteen missionaries and seven Fidei Donum priests. Notre Dame des Victoires is one of eight parishes in the city of Korhogo. Presently, the pastor of Notre Dame des Victoires resides at the Cathedral in Korhogo, where he organises the pastoral activities of his parish. The proposed rectory will enable Notre Dame des Victoires to have its own residential pastor and allows for the possibility of other priests being assigned to assist him, who in turn, can help facilitate the parish’s growth. The proposed rectory will contain four bedrooms, one sitting room, a refectory, a kitchen, five bathrooms and a terrace. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Côte D'Ivoire – $35,961
Saint Jean de Morofe Parish is located in Koriakro, a village of more than 2,000 inhabitants. Although it is still in the period of its first evangelization, the newly formed Catholic community in Koriakro, about 100 people, meets every Sunday in a makeshift church building called an apatam to participate in the Eucharist and other liturgical celebrations. This apatam has been destroyed several times by storms and tornadoes. The parish has two thousand five hundred square meters of land available to build a chapel. This chapel will give great encouragement to many people in Koriakro who would like to join the community for the celebration of Mass and other sacraments, but who are discouraged by the structural instability of the present apatam. The wood used for the construction as well as the labor will be donated by the parishioners.
Egypt – $100,000
Collège De La Salle is located in the heart of Cairo. In 1991 the Brothers of Christian Schools added to the College a section dedicated to the education of children with mental disabilities. The Vie Meilleure (Better Way) serves 85 students between the ages of 6 and 15 with mild to medium mental disabilities. The section has 11 levels: 2 preparatory, 6 primary and 3 vocational. It employs 27 teachers along with a psychologist and a social worker. In 1996, at the request of parents and teachers, the Vie Meilleure extended services to those between the ages of 15 and 18 to assist in the professional formation necessary for certain jobs. The Vie Meilleure, however, is a heavy economic burden for the College. Cognizant of the other expenses that parents have to pay for medical costs, the tuition for these students is very low. The biggest expense that the College faces is electricity. Considering the constant presence of the sun in Egypt, the Director undertook a feasibility study for the installation of solar panels. The study shows that the College will recuperate all costs by the end of four years and that after a 25 year period the accumulated cash income will be more than four times the initial expense. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Ethiopia – $100,000
The Comboni Missionaries have been present in Ethiopia for more than fifty years. They assist in the evangelization of young people, in the training of catechists and in the formation of seminarians. In response to the country’s need for peace and development, the Missionaries have identified human, cultural and technological formation as the means to assist men and women to prepare for leadership in the moral, cultural and business spheres of society. The concrete realization of these ideas is the creation of Center for young people that will combine the elements of an Oratory, a Vocation Center and a Mission Animation Center. The Comboni Missionaries have secured a suitable piece of property with a building already on it. The present building, however, will need to be radically restructured and a new building will also be added to accommodate a residence for the Comboni Missionaries, a chapel, kitchen, a multipurpose room and bedrooms for those attending workshops or trainings. Some sports facilities will also be put in place. The Missionaries had secured funds from another organization to carry out the planned works. But the Municipality then ordered several changes to the plans due to zoning regulations and this adjustment has increased the overall cost of the works.
Ethiopia – $35,000
Since 1992 the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Christ have operated Saint Mary’s Kindergarten. In addition to the educating the children, the kindergarten also enables their mothers to work or receive vocational training courses. In 2018, the Sisters undertook, with the assistance of the Papal Foundation, the construction of a two-story building in order to expand the enrollment from 130 to 400 students. The new structure would also enable the Sisters to offer vocational training to 100 women. The new structure is 75% complete and the Sisters turn, once again, to the Papal Foundation for assistance in completing the structure. The remaining works include roofing and gutters, installation of windows and doors, painting and electrical installation.
Ethiopia – $100,000
The Archdiocese of Addis Ababa, recognizing the unique challenges faced by the Catholic Church in Ethiopia, convened a synod a little more than two years ago. A strategy was formulated to improve the Archdiocese’s pastoral services through formation and the provision of tangible infrastructure, namely, a Centre in which to consolidate and expand the Church’s pastoral and social ministry. The Archdiocese, using the land it had available on the grounds of the Cathedral Parish, began construction of the Saint John Paul II Pastoral and Social Centre.
In addition to being a formation hub, the Centre would also provide recreational facilities and programs for young people, host sacred music and art lessons, provide a place for students to receive tutoring, and provide bathrooms and showers for the destitute of the neighborhood. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Kenya – $47,000
Saint Joseph the Worker parish was established in 1985 by the Jesuit Fathers of the Eastern African Province. The parish is situated within Kangemi slum on the outskirts of Nairobi and home to an estimated 200,000 people. Over the years the parish has engaged in developmental projects that seek to empower the most vulnerable including Saint Joseph Technical School and Upendo Orphans and Vulnerable Children Education Program. The children who are recommended to participate in these programs are given a year of bridging education (games, songs, basic math and reading skills) to transition them from life on the streets to integration in the primary or secondary school. The parish has assisted over 600 children in this manner. The parish is seeking to continue providing access to a quality education along with scholastic materials, two daily meals, counselling services to students and families, as well as offering workshops for teachers, and vocational skills training. Stipends for staff and administrative costs make up 10% of the budget. School fees, scholastic materials, nutritional support, psychological support and vocational skills training makes up 86% of the budget. The remaining 4% is for staff training. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Kenya – $41,666
The Brothers of Saint Charles Lwanga were founded in 1927 in Uganda and serve in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. Among other apostolic efforts, the Brothers teach in primary and secondary schools, providing quality education to poor and vulnerable children. In the Diocese of Bungoma, the Brothers operate Saint Stephen Primary School in Kimaeti. One of the major problems facing young people in Kimaeti is the lack of education. Many do not attend secondary school simply because there are few schools nearby to attend. Consequently, the young people pass their days abusing drugs and other substances. Seeing this, the Brothers would like to open a high school to allow the young people a chance to better their lives. While high schools are generally located in the urban areas of the towns, this high school is located in the rural part of the town and would offer those who live in the rural areas an opportunity that they might not otherwise have because of the distance to the nearest school. The Brothers would like to build a four classroom block. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Kenya – $88,822
Saint Catherine of Siena parish in Pondo was established in 1996 and has eleven mission stations. The parish lies in the savannah grassland and agriculture is the main source of income. Many of the residents continue with their traditional forms of life, which poses a number of challenges including cattle rustling, absenteeism from school and early marriages. The Rescue Center is the parish primary school and it serves 210 children, both Catholic and non-Catholic. The school provides porridge daily to the children and occasionally provides lunch. When possible, the school and church also provide uniforms and textbooks to students who need them. The biggest challenge that the school faces is poverty. Most children come to school hungry. Many girls do not come to school when they are menstruating, partially because of taboos and also because they do not have the necessary sanitary pads. The boys, on the other hand, lack clean underwear and uniforms. The school also lacks the infrastructure that it needs to comply with the newly introduced Competence Based Curriculum. The four laptops that the school presently owns are not sufficient for the student body, which is growing. The school would like to address these issues by purchasing 20 laptops ($4,808), enhancing the meal program ($63,000), purchasing textbooks ($630), constructing four new classrooms ($18,400) and addressing the needs of the children as they face puberty ($1,984) including the training of teachers.
Madagascar – $50,000
The Oblates of Mary Immaculate have been present in Madagascar since 1980.The Oblates desire to work with the poor, evangelize and serve those in remote locations. In the Archdiocese of Fianarantsoa, the Oblates staff the Parish of Saint Eugene de Mazenod in Sahalava. The church was built in 2000, with a small house next to it where the Pastor could live. The Catholic population has grown since 2000 and has reached a point where it is necessary for the Oblates to assign several priests to serve the Parish and to minister in the countryside by building chapels in the bushlands. The present fifty year-old house is too small to accommodate the number of Oblates needed to support their mission in the Parish and in outlying areas. Moreover, the house is in poor condition and cannot be expanded due to its location next to the parish church. In order to carry out their apostolic work, the Oblates wish to construct a new rectory behind the church. This new rectory would be a two-story building, with a total surface area of 706 m2. The ground floor would contain a chapel and sacristy, a kitchen and dining room, a guest parlour, and a garage and storage area. The second floor would contain rooms for six Oblates with private bathrooms, a community room and a laundry. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Mali – $73,830
The Parish of Saint John the Baptist in Koury is the ninth and youngest parish in the Diocese, created in 2013. The parish serves nearly 1500 Catholics under the direction of two priests and nine catechists. The infrastructure of the new parish is still developing. The Bishop has invited the Sisters of the Annunciation of Bobo (Burkina Faso) to assist in the parish. However, a convent needs to be built to house the Sisters. The proposed convent will contain a small chapel, six bedrooms, a kitchen, a dining room and a living room. The local contribution represents almost 40% of the cost.
The Diocese of San was established in 1964. It is entirely rural, with inhabitants surviving by farming, animal breeding and operating small businesses. The Diocese has eight parishes and fifty-one diocesan priests, who serve a Catholic population of 36,000 (representing 3.5% of the total population in the territory of the Diocese). Although the presbyterate is relatively young, with a median age of 46, the retirement age is 65. Most priests face such rigorous conditions of life (poor roads, insufficient means of transport, lack of healthcare facilities) that by age 65, their health is seriously affected. At present, four priests are in poor health, two are already retired, and within a period of two years, at least six more priests will retire. In 2017, the Diocese began construction of a retirement home, which has been partially completed thanks to donations from external organizations. However, with very limited funds available, the Diocese, on its own, is unable to finish the project. The planned home will provide dignified living and healthcare for up to twelve priests. It will include a chapel, kitchen, laundry, dining room, parlour, an infirmary and a room for basic medical treatment.
Morocco – $100,000
The Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Tangier are a community of nine Sisters of eight different nationalities. The Community was established in 1934, inspired by a desire to found a Carmel in a Muslim environment to pray for peace and encounter between the two cultures and religions. The Nuns are the only Carmelite Monastery in North Africa and one of the few contemplative presences besides the Poor Clares in Cassablanca and the Trappists in Midelt. A few years ago the Community was greatly reduced in numbers and one of the proposed solutions was to close the Monastery. The Muslim friends of the Community did not want to see these “women of God” leave because they needed them and encouraged them to find other Sisters to sustain the Community. With the aid of the Carmelite Fathers, new Sisters have joined them and the closure is no longer necessary. However, the Monastery is in urgent need of renovations and what started out as a simple expansion of a few rooms has been enlarged to include work on the roofs and terraces, which were in danger of collapse. The renovations also include updates to their bakery, the garden and hostel, the main sources of income for the Sisters. Through the help of benefactors and their own income the Sisters have raised nearly 58% of the cost. The amount asked of the Papal Foundation represents a quarter of the remaining costs which include, but is not limited to: the garden work, work on the chapel, security measures and renovation of the bakery.
Mozambique – $11,007
The Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus arrived in the Diocese of Pembra in April 2015 in order to serve in Meluco, a town of 15,000 inhabitants on the edge of a National Park in the northeastern part of Mozambique. The people that they serve live very simply in thatched huts without electricity and running water. The Sisters are engaged in evangelization and human formation, especially in catechesis and working jointly with other Congregations to serve families, young people and women. The Diocese has provided a house and a car for the Sisters in Pemba. However, ministering to the people in Meluco necessitates an eight hour round trip journey for the Sisters, primarily on dirt roads. Often, the Sisters lodge with Fathers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Meluco when their work requires it. With the help of benefactors, the Sisters have built a convent in Meluco. They are seeking assistance in digging a well for the convent so they can reside among the people they serve.
Mozambique – $100,000
The Consolata Missionary Fathers were founded in Italy in 1901 with the mission of bringing the Gospel to all peoples. Since 2014 they have assumed responsibility for a mission in Mozambique in the village of Fingoè, five hours from the diocesan see in Tete. Though the mission in the village is quite old, dating back to the earliest missionary days, it has been neglected for almost fifty years. The Bishop of the Diocese of Tete, himself a Consolata Missionary, believes that the construction of a parish church would give a new thrust to the efforts of the Missionary Fathers in reviving the faith, as well as providing a space and structure in which to welcome the Catholic community.
Mozambique – $57,000
The Community of Sant’Egidio is an international Catholic organization founded in 1968 by a group of students in Rome. Inspired by the Gospel, these students visited the elderly, the homeless and disadvantaged children who lived in the peripheries of Rome. Since then, new communities have been established, spreading from Italy to other parts of the world. Today, Sant’Egidio is present in more than seventy countries where they carry out different humanitarian and development programs for those most in need. The Community of Sant’Egidio was established in Mozambique in the early 1980s in view of fostering peace in the country after the civil war, as well as focusing on prevention and treatment of those with HIV. The first Dream center was opened for this purpose in 2002 in Maputo. Today it offers the following services: pediatric care for HIV positive children and for those children whose mothers are HIV positive, support for adolescents with HIV, tuberculosis care, cervical cancer prevention, cardiovascular disease prevention, and treatment and prevention programs for malnutrition. It has worked with 180,000 patients and prevented the spread of HIV from 25,000 pregnant women to their newborns. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Nigeria – $100,000
The Congregation of Sisters of Jesus the Good Shepherd was founded in the Diocese of Abakaliki in 1989. It is the first and only indigenous Congregation in the Diocese, and numbers 155 professed Sisters plus many novices and postulants. Its main apostolate is the care of the elderly in Nigeria as well as in other countries such as Ghana and Italy. The Our Lady of Perpetual Help retirement home is run by the Sisters and is the only such establishment (whether ecclesial or civil) in the Diocese. The property was bequeathed to the Sisters in January 2019 but is in very poor state of repair. It also lacks a proper medical facility and supplies for caring for those elderly residents with healthcare needs. The main purpose of the renovation is to significantly improve the living and care standards of the elderly, many of whom have been abandoned by their families, and to secure the long-term future of the home. The renovations include the erection of a fence, repairs to the roof and ceiling, plumbing and electrical work, and the purchase of medical equipment (beds, wheelchairs, canes, thermometers, compression socks, etc.).
Nigeria – $38,067
The Diocese of Bauchi was erected in 2003 and has high infrastructural needs. It is located in the predominantly Islamic area of Bauchi and Gombe States, where Christians constitute around 3% of the local population. The Holy Family pastoral area in Rafin Zurfi was established in 2017 and serves a growing Catholic population that is centred on subsistent farming and is located on the outskirts of the town of Bauchi. There is currently no adequate building to provide for the spiritual and pastoral needs of the community, as the present structure is made of zinc and can only house about half the congregation. It is hoped that by providing an adequate church building, the safety and security it would offer will also encourage those members of the community to attend church who currently are fearful of the occasional violence that still afflicts the local Christian population. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Rwanda – $74,281
Saint Martin Hanika School is a private secondary school founded by the Diocese of Cyangugu in 1997. Located in a predominantly rural area, it serves a student population of 700, with a particular emphasis on technological education to develop students’ professional competency in the field of information technology. The school currently lacks a dedicated library and computer room; small classrooms are currently being utilized for these purposes. The room set aside for information technology training can hold 45 students, who must share 25 computers. The classroom now serving as a library/reading room can hold only 15 students. Faced with these limitations, the school cannot provide the kind of educational quality that will help young students develop the skills needed in today’s information technology professions. To overcome these problems, the school is seeking to build a library and computer room, equipped with new laptop computers for student use. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Rwanda – $61,400
Founded in 1959, the Monastery of the Benedictine Sisters at Sovu in the Diocese of Butare is a contemplative community. The Monastery has been a place for prayer and service to the poor, particularly through the provision of potable water and healthcare services. The Benedictine Sisters also offer spiritual and psychological assistance to married couples, widows, orphans, those who are engaged and the divorced. Since its foundation, the Monastery has lacked a proper perimeter fence. The Sisters have built a wooden fence, which is very fragile and does not prevent break-ins. The Monastery has often been robbed and the security of the Sisters, as well as others who receive services at the Monastery, is threatened. The Sisters plan to build a permanent wall of brick and stone surrounding the perimeter of the Monastery (1,368 meters). The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
South Sudan – $95,358
After nearly four decades of civil war, South Sudan gained its independence in July 2011. Though independence was a great achievement, the years of war left the fledgling country without infrastructure - no reliable roads, no health facilities, no schools. The internal instability of the country has manifested itself in factions, armed conflicts, ambushes along the roads, revenge killings and cattle rustling. Citizens live in fear and insecurity, especially at night. The Holy Spirit Fathers were invited to South Sudan in 2012, and staff Good Shepherd Parish in Thon-Aduel. The parish has nine chapels within a 42 km radius. As part of the evangelization efforts of the parish, the Fathers have monthly meetings in Thon-Aduel with the catechists from all the chapels to coordinate the curriculum. Distance and safety have limited the participation to the four nearby chapels. Those who live in the five further chapels feel left out of the parish. Those who live close enough to attend often arrive late and leave early, having to wait for sunrise to start walking and having to return home before sunset. The walk fatigues the participants because there is no place to spend the night. Meetings that are scheduled for consecutive days see a sharp decline in the subsequent days. The Fathers have attempted to pick up participants who live further away, but the time needed for travel and the fear of ambushes have detracted from the fruitfulness of the intended programs. Having worked with the local government to obtain protection for travel, the Fathers would like to build two dormitories, one for men, one for women, to house participants for meetings, workshops and youth events.
South Sudan – $100,000
The Missionary Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary (MSBVM) are a Religious Congregation of Diocesan Right composed of South Sudanese women. They fled Sudan because of the civil war and were rescued from a refugee camp in the Central African Republic in 1993. At the request of Propaganda Fide, the Comboni Missionary Sisters took the MSBVM Sisters under their wings and for twenty years assisted them in completing their basic education, professional preparation and religious formation. In 2014, the MSBVM were able to have their first General Chapter to elect their own leadership, the first step in becoming self-governing. The Sisters have four communities in Sudan, three in the South and one in the North, plus a formation center in Kampala (Uganda). The MSBVM Sisters do not have a residence for their Superior General and her Council or the necessary Congregational office space. The proposed convent will have 5 bedrooms, 1 guest room, a chapel, offices, kitchen and dining room and a large room for Congregational assemblies. In 2015, with the help of the Papal Foundation, construction began and the walls are complete up to the beam level. Construction stopped for a period of time due to war. The Sisters would like to resume construction of the second phase of the building, namely, the completion of the bedrooms and office spaces.
Tanzania – $40,499
The Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a male religious congregation founded in 1949 and numbering 120 members, have been working in the Diocese of Mpanda since 2009. The Congregation serves the local community in a variety of ways from vocational training to youth in areas of agriculture, carpentry, masonry, welding and dress making to catechetical formation, kindergartens, orphanages and community development. The Congregation is presently constructing a residence for Brothers serving in the Diocese as doctors and teachers. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Tanzania – $95,000
Composed of two islands, Zanzibar was established as a Diocese in 1980, even though Christianity was first introduced to the islands by the Portuguese more than five centuries ago. The Diocese is involved in interreligious dialogue, education, medical and other social activities that bring the 12,000 Catholics who form part of the Diocese in contact with the rest of the Muslim population. Catholics make up only 2% of 1.6 million inhabitants of the islands. The Bishop and the four priests who make up his secretariat reside in a 300 year old building adjacent to the Cathedral. The building itself is very small and in poor condition. Besides, there are serious questions of security, also due to threats made on the Bishop’s life. To address these needs, the Diocese purchased a piece of land ($60,000) in a safer area in order to build a new residence. In addition to serving as the residence, the building will contain the offices for the Bishop and his secretariat as well as the diocesan archives. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Togo – $99,967
The Sisters of Providence of Saint Paul are a Religious Congregation of Diocesan Right, founded in 1975 in the Diocese of Kara. The Congregation numbers 94 sisters in 25 communities throughout Togo and Benin. The Sisters focus on welcome and hospitality which translate into diverse activities such as education, healthcare, the promotion of women, and shelters for women. Since the founding of the Congregation, the Sisters have made every effort to aid young Togolese women, especially those who come from poverty or live in rural areas, to pursue their schooling in good conditions. In Togolese society, the education of young women is often neglected in favor of males, therefore, very few young women ever obtain a Baccalaureate and few still higher degrees. In 1999 there was an explosion in enrollment at the University of Lomé and the President of the Republic decided to create a second public university in Kara. This new University wants to become and remain a principal player in the economic, technological and social development of the nation. While this presents itself as a great opportunity for young women in the area, the difficulty of lodging remains. The price of renting a decent apartment is often beyond the means of the students. The Sisters would like to build a residence hall for female university students in order to assist them in their efforts to receive an education and effect change in their country. The Residence Hall will house 51 students and have a common dining room. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Togo – $100,000
The Benedictine Monastery of the Assumption is located in Danyi Dzogbegan in the northern part of the Diocese of Kpalimé. The cultivation of cocoa, coffee, cassava and corn are the primary sources of income in this mountainous region. The Sisters welcome guests, usually priests, religious and the elderly, for retreats and even for convalescence. The Monastery lacks an infirmary in which to care for its Sisters when they are sick. In this part of the country access to primary care medicine is difficult. The general hospital in the region lacks basic equipment and personnel to be able to respond adequately to the needs of the Monastery. Even though several of the Sisters have some training in healthcare, the Monastery also lacks what it needs to provide adequate healthcare to their elderly and infirm Sisters. For this reason the Sisters would like to build an infirmary where they can care for their own sisters. The Sister also hope that the local residents will also be able to benefit from this infirmary. The infirmary will have 5 bedrooms, a dining room, an office for the infirmarian and a consultation room.
Togo – $91,359
The Centre d’Aide Sociale Saint André (CASA) is located within the Archdiocese of Lomé. It is an initiative of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Andrew of Pelte and has cared for victims of prostitution and sexual exploitation, particularly minors, since 2000. The Centre welcomes vulnerable and exploited young women, providing spiritual and psychological assistance, as well as educational and professional training aimed at helping them find employment. To date, the Centre has cared for 1,378 young women, of whom 75% are currently working in various professions, primarily as hairdressers and in the culinary arts. The Centre has also assisted in 5,207 family interventions, helping to reconnect young women with their families. Due to an increase in the number of sexually exploited women, the Centre’s present facilities are not large enough to accommodate all who come seeking help. The Sisters of Providence wish to expand their Centre by constructing a six-room building that would facilitate the professional classes offered to the women they serve. This new building would include two classrooms for cosmetology lessons, a kitchen and restaurant for culinary lessons, office space and a small store.
Uganda – $100,000
The Diocese of Moroto is presently engaged in building a Cathedral dedicated to the Merciful Love of God. The desire for a new Cathedral dates back sixteen years when the present church building was no longer able to accommodate the faithful on Sundays. Many years passed as the Diocese sought to secure the purchase of two plots of land. The building project itself was initiated three years ago and is half way to completion. In 2020 a contribution from the Papal Foundation assisted with the purchase of brick, cement, 20 doors and 50 window frames and glass. The Bishop is turning, once again, to the Papal Foundation for a continuation of support to continue work on the construction of the outer wall, the sanctuary and to install the doors and windows.
Uganda – $94,107
Saint Mary’s Midwifery Training School (SMMTS) was founded in 1959 by Combonian Missionary Father Giuseppe Ambrosoli, who, during his 32 years of missionary service in Kalongo, Uganda, transformed a small medical dispensary into an efficient and modern hospital. SMMTS provides two specialized medical profession training courses: a three-year course for professional midwives and an 18 month diploma for higher level certification. There is a plan to start a three-year Bachelor’s degree in midwifery. SMMTS has qualified a total of 1,460 healthcare professionals. Despite its reputation for being one of the best midwifery schools in the country, SMMTs is unable to receive accreditation from the National Council for Higher Education because it lacks a computer room and practical skills laboratory space in which the students can practice their clinical skills. In an area where only 5% of the homes have electricity, the computer room will provide much needed access to the Internet and other digital resources. Especially in this time of the Covid pandemic, there would also be opportunities to receive instruction from professors in other countries. A university in Italy has made an in-kind donation of it computers, desks, chairs and other electronic equipment necessary for the completion of the computer lab (4% of the project total). The Ambrosoli Foundation which oversees the Hospital and its associated institutions is contributing 51%. SMMTS is contributing 8%.
Zambia – $30,000
In 1984 four Oblates of Mary Immaculate arrived in Zambia from the United States. The Oblates now have missions in Lusaka, Livingstone, Kabwe, Kalabo, Lukulu and Shangombo. Within the context of these missions, the Oblates oversee parishes, catechetical programs, youth and prison ministries, a radio station and other faith based ministries. Having observed the number of Catholics who leave the practice of the faith for other denominations because they do not feel listed to or supported by the Church, the Oblates discerned that a place was needed where they can offer the opportunity for prayer and contemplation as well as a listening ear. Knowing their own need for retreats and seeing that same need as an impetus for the spiritual renewal of others, the Oblates purchased a 67 hectare piece of land in Livingstone where they intend to institute a Spirituality Centre. The Centre will have twenty chalets; each chalet will have a bedroom and bathroom. There will also be a conference hall and a dining hall with kitchen, which can accommodate 100 guests. A chapel is also planned. The Oblates would like to start with the construction of three chalets in order to begin offering retreats. The construction of the other chalets and buildings will proceed in phases according to the availability of funds.
Zambia – $80,000
Mary Mother of God School is on the parish property which is situated on the periphery of the city of Chipata in a neighborhood named Navutika (translated: I have suffered). The neighborhood is inhabited by many poor people, most of whom do not have fixed work, and the resulting poverty leads to high rates of teenage pregnancies, child marriages and drug abuse. For this reason, the parish decided to build a school to provide an opportunity for the children to better their situation. One of the new government educational standards requires that schools be equipped with biology, science, computer and home economics laboratories, as well as a library. In seeking to meet the educational needs of its students Mary Mother of God School will erect five new structures, each housing one of the missing but needed components of a sound education. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Zambia – $61,125
The Kalundu Study Centre began in 1971 under the auspices of the Zambian Episcopal Conference by offering formation courses for novices. In 1977 the management of the Centre was entrusted to the Zambia Association of the Sisterhoods. Since that time the Centre has been offering one year leadership and formation courses for religious women in Zambia and other English speaking African countries. The Centre subsidizes the courses because the low incomes earned by the women religious limit the amount that their respective Congregations are able to pay for tuition, room and board. The Sisters undertake courses in Leadership, Psychology, Counseling, Spiritual Direction and Formation, Theology and Catechesis, as well as training in child protection policies and efforts to combat human trafficking. The tuition and fees charged by the Study Centre covers approximately 63% of the cost. The Centre has benefited from support of various donors over the years and is turning to the Papal Foundation for assistance.
Zimbabwe – $28,186
Emerald Hill Children’s home is run by the Dominican Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Since 1914 the Home has taken care of orphaned and vulnerable children in Harare (Zimbabwe). The Sisters provide shelter, food, clothing and education to about 100 children in need between the ages of 3 to 20. After primary school the boys move to Saint Joseph House while the girls remain at Emerald Hill to complete their secondary education. At 18 they move into an independent facility where they are given a monthly allowance until they can find a job or become financially independent. In 2013 and 2014 the Children’s Home installed two solar systems. These systems provide power to critical areas of the home including lights, computers and refrigerators. The solar batteries that are part of this system have reached the end of their five-year lifespan. The supply of electricity is unreliable, often available only five hours during the day and late at night. In order to provide continuity of care, to ensure that food is not wasted and that the children have the electricity to complete their school work, the Home needs to replace 36 solar batteries.
Zimbabwe – $55,667
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Mission, established in 1952 and designated a mission in 2012, is situated in the Headlands Township between Harare and Mutare. It consists of around 200 households, each averaging seven persons, most of whom are farmers. The Mission runs a primary school, which has 1,100 pupils. Our Lady of Mount Carmel is one of four parishes/missions in the Diocese of Mutare with no church building. Since its inception as a Mission, Mass has been celebrated in the school building, which is inadequate due to its size and inability to accommodate the worshipers in safety, dignity and reasonable comfort. The project to build a new church with a capacity of 700 to 900 people will provide the parishioners, who have already worked to raise 15% of the funds, with an appropriate space for worship and other activities. It will also enhance the spiritual identity of the Mission which will also assist the task of evangelization. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Zimbabwe – $100,000
The Diocese of Chinhoyi in northern Zimbabwe is largely rural with a population of over two million. Drought and high unemployment make life difficult for many of the faithful. The town of Chinhoyi has a migrant population of around 40%, with many immigrants from neighbouring Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique. Zimbabwe is also a source, transit and destination country for trafficking in persons, leading many to suffer from forced labor and sexual exploitation. These social pressures on the town of Chinhoyi in particular have led to a severe lack of educational opportunity, with its eight primary and three secondary schools, none of which are Catholic, being overenrolled. To respond to this shortage of schools and to promote the Catholic community and the Church’s social and evangelical mission, the Diocese has established its five-year Improving Access to Education Project. The Diocese seeks to build a new Catholic Secondary and Primary school in Chinhoyi, to support especially the poorest and most vulnerable children. Partial funding has already been found for these two schools and funding is being sought from the Papal Foundation for one of the eight blocks of four classrooms and bathrooms for the Primary school. The school will be constructed in phases according to the funds available. Already the Diocese has enough to start the construction of two classroom blocks and hopes to have four built within a year.
Jordan – $55,000
Jordan is among the largest refugee-hosting countries per capita with almost 745,192 refugees, coming primarily from Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen and the Sudan. Its unemployment rate is 19% and its public services are overstretched. As public assistance is often conditioned based on nationality, Iraqis are marginalized or even excluded from national and international programs of humanitarian assistance. Further, lack of employment opportunities in their home countries and lack of vocational skills make it difficult for many to find jobs, especially for Iraqis who are ineligible for work permits in Jordan. AVSI, created in 1972, undertakes projects which aid human development or provide humanitarian aid, such as the Open Hospitals Project in Syria . Present in Jordan since 2001, it aims at paving the way for sustainable development for refugees from Syria, Iraq and Palestine, as well as vulnerable Jordanians. In 2011, it implemented a carpentry project to support vulnerable people, many with disabilities, living in a Palestinian refugee camp. In 2017, with financial support from the Holy See, it created leather and mosaic workshops to provide a source of employment for Iraqi and Jordanian families. AVSI now hopes to assist approximately 80 refugees, 130 young people ages 18-25, and 45 children through a twenty-one month intervention program providing vocational training in one of the three workshops and introducing children and youth to the importance and techniques of manufacturing. These workshops will help to stimulate the local economy and create more employment opportunities for both refugees and Jordanians, especially owners of small businesses. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Lebanon – $96,677
The Centre de vie was created in 2007 by the De La Salle Christian Brothers with the two-fold aim of responding to the mission of the Congregation to be attentive to the needs of the most impoverished children and to address the scarcity of options for those children who suffer from an intellectual deficit or have specific needs in terms of education or rehabilitation. The Centre de vie is one of the very few places that welcomes children from ages 4 to 14 with mild to moderate learning disabilities, Down’s Syndrome, epilepsy, autism, and development disorders. The Centre would like to address two challenges that it currently faces. The first concerns the students who leave the Centre at the age of 14. Often these students end up in their parents’ home without receiving the necessary professional training to enable them to acquire relative autonomy. To this end, the Centre wishes to add a kitchen, vegetable garden, recycling studio and car wash to assist the adolescents in acquiring necessary job skills. The second challenge concerns improvements related to hygiene and education that follow from the recommendations of a report from the University of Saint Joseph in Beirut. The Centre would like to construct a covered courtyard and install a ventilation system, as well as construct two rooms dedicated to the development of gross and fine motor skills, purchase enrichment materials and educational games, and provide formation workshops for the educators. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Lebanon – $100,000
Founded in 1966, the Missionary Sisters of the Very Holy Sacrament care for orphans, engage in pastoral work, teach in Catholic schools, offer training in sewing and embroidery, and provide medical care for the poor. Most of their eight convents are located in rural regions in Lebanon. A large number of those they serve are war refugees from Syria. In the village of Beit Hebbak, the Sisters operate a school which educates 1,400 students from the 31 surrounding villages. The school includes a residential orphanage where the Sisters house, feed and care for 80 girls. In 2015 there were two fires in the kitchen caused by water leaking into the electrical wiring. With aid from the Pontifical Mission in Lebanon, the Sisters were able to fix part of the exterior plastering of the school and convent and stop the leakage of water. However, the funds granted were not enough to complete the entire project. This past winter there were more leaks and the Sisters urgently desire to finish the project to protect the classrooms and convent. The work to be undertaken includes repairs to the western, southern and northern walls, the repair of 61 windows and the repair of the nursery playground roof. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Palestine – $100,000
Bethlehem University is the only Catholic university in the Holy Land and the first university registered in Palestine to provide higher education to the local population regardless of religion, gender and socioeconomic background. The University, sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers and the Holy See, offers two-year diplomas, Bachelor degrees, post-Baccalaureate diplomas and Masters degrees in a variety of fields including Liberal Arts, Sciences, Business Administration, Nursing, and Physiotherapy. Last year the University established a licensed clinic to provide services for the local community and training for the Physiotherapy students. This decision is part of the University’s vision of developing its Physiotherapy Department, which in turn provides health services for faculty, staff and external patients at low prices. Many of those who come for treatment suffer from herniated and bulging discs. The purchase of a non-surgical spinal decompression combination system for the clinic would help to provide necessary relief and will make this clinic one of the most advanced clinics in the region.
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CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA
Argentina – $89,585
The Pastor of San Andrés Apóstol Parish, located in the city of Miramar, would like to construct an edifice to house the charitable works of the parish. The volunteers of Cáritas attend to the needs of two hundred parish families who lack the necessities for living with dignity. The volunteers organize food assistance and provide coats, beds and bedding. It is also their intention to begin offering vocational training in order to promote access to suitable work. However, Cáritas needs a dedicated space for these undertakings. Additionally, three times a week, the parish operates a soup kitchen, serving meals to those people who find themselves in situations of extreme vulnerability. The parish also wishes to accompany pregnant young women, many of whom would otherwise seek abortions. Finally, the parish would like to reach out to women, especially those suffering from domestic violence. The proposed center will have two floors. The lower level will have two meeting rooms, a reception area and an office for a secretary. The upper level will have a kitchen, bathrooms, a large multipurpose room and four meeting rooms.
Brazil – $45,292
The Diocese of Propriá (Brazil) was created in 1960 and is situated in the northern part of the Sergipe State, the poorest part of the state. It is composed of 26 municipalities and 28 parishes. The principal means of subsistence is fishing, artisan work, livestock and commerce. Though the Diocese has been in existence for sixty years, it lacks an adequate space for its curial offices for many years. It presently uses part of a building belonging to the parish, which also uses it for its meetings, catechesis and administration. The Diocese was recently given a building which was once the residence of the first Bishop. The Bishop would like to use this space for the curial offices, however, the age and size of the building necessitates a significant restructuring in order to suit its new purpose. The works include: the installation of doors, plumbing and electricity, the demolition and reconstruction of some walls, painting, the tiling of floors and walls and the purchase of the necessary furniture.
Brazil – $30,171
The Instituto de Assistêcia Social Dom Campelo (IASDOC) was founded in 2011 by the Sisters Mediatrices of Peace. The Institute provides social assistance to children, adolescents, families, and senior citizens in the Pina neighborhood of Recife. The Institute offers a variety of activities - educational, cultural, sporting, recreational, technological – and assistance to low income families. These services are gratuitous and serve to build family and community relationships and promote good citizenship. The Institute serves approximately 150 children and adolescents, 104 families and 85 senior citizens. An eight person team, composed of the director, a psychologist, a social worker, three teachers (percussion and dance, academic tutoring, and educational and citizenship programs) a cook and one support staff member, work to together to provide the various services. The Director asks for assistance in paying the salaries of the team members for one year so that the Institute can continue to serve the poor in the neighborhood. IASDOC received a grant from The Papal Foundation in 2018 for the same purpose.
Brazil – $95,000
The Carmelite Sisters of the Holy Spirit were founded in Nova Almeida (Brazil) on 30 July 1984 by Mother Maria José of the Holy Spirit. In 1995, the Generalate of the institute was transferred to the Diocese of Santo Amaro. The Institute has one hundred fifty-nine temporarily and perpetually professed sisters who work in twenty-five communities in eighteen Dioceses spread throughout Brazil and Europe. Their apostolate consists primarily in evangelization through retreats in order to bring people to a personal encounter with Christ. The Sisters also conduct missions, engage in vocational work and catechesis, visit the elderly and sick, and work with pregnant women, among other ministries. The Generalate is the place where the Congregation’s leadership team resides.
The student sisters and the sisters who need more medical attention also live there. This convent has a chapel, four bedrooms, a common room, a kitchen and refectory as well as two larger rooms, one used for the offices of the general officials, the other an attic used as a study area or sleeping quarters for visiting sisters. The number of rooms, however, is not sufficient to accommodate those who live there, the Sisters often sleeping four or five to a room. This robs them of the privacy and silence that is essential for nourishing the contemplative part of their lives. The Sisters would like to build twenty-two single bedrooms to provide adequate sleeping space for both those who live there and those who are visiting.
Colombia – $11,159
The Visitation Nuns of Santa Maria Monastery are situated outside the town of Soatá in the Diocese of Málaga. Founded in 2005, the Sisters, with the aid of benefactors, were able to build a chapel with a side chapel for the Sisters, an oratory for the sick, a refectory (dining room), a kitchen, a community room, a chapter (meeting) room, a reception room with parlors, 28 cells (monastic bedrooms) for the Sisters and an apartment for 5 guests. In 2016, the Sisters received from the Papal Foundation a grant to purchase a machine for making communion hosts. In 2010, because of the instability of the land (the Monastery is built on the side of a hill), the Sisters constructed three retaining walls to prevent water runoff from causing damage the newly constructed Monastery. However, those walls provide no protection from outside threats to safety. Having already suffered a number of thefts, both of hoses and animals (chickens and pigs) which they raise for food, the Sisters would like to build a perimeter cloister wall. Being near to the highway on a deserted stretch of road, they do not want their front drive to be an inviting place for vehicles to pass the night or for intoxicated men to sleep. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Costa Rica – $100,000
For many years Costa Rica has been in the vanguard for the protection of life, from the abolition of the death penalty in the 19th century to the dissolution of its army in the 1950s. In recent years the country has experienced a growing number of cases of violence, whether domestic abuse or murder or aggression. In 2017 there were 4491 reported cases of sexual abuse against minors and vulnerable adults. At the same time, there is a growing horror and distrust caused by cases of clerical abuse throughout the world and a corresponding desire to prevent further abuse. The recently founded Instituto de Protección a Menores was born out of a desire to address the issue of the abuse of minors and vulnerable adults. The two principal collaborators received training from the Pontifical University of Mexico and the Pontifical Gregorian University’s Centre for Child Protection. The aim of the Institute is to provide in each Diocese appropriate formation concerning the protection of minors as well as the creation of digital platforms with pro-life information and Church teachings for both the general public and those who have undertaken the training. The amount requested would support the Institute in the years 2021 and 2022.
Costa Rica – $100,000
Costa Rica experiences many earthquakes each year, many of which damage parish structures. Such was the case for the parish church of Saint Gertrudis, which dated to 1936. An earthquake in 2015 damaged the church so badly that it was demolished in order to build a larger church. The new church will be able to accommodate 700 people and includes a baptismal side chapel, a sacristy, a daily Mass chapel that accommodates 85 people, three confessionals and bathrooms. The church will be three stories tall and will cost approximately $1.5 million. The construction of the new church is underway, with an estimated 40% already complete, namely, the construction of the walls for the first level. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Ecuador – $91,790
The Carmelite Monastery of Saint John of the Cross is the only cloistered community in the city of Machala, Ecuador. Among the work that the Nuns undertake to sustain themselves is the production of communion hosts. The machines that the Sisters presently have are obsolete, however, the cost of purchasing new machinery is beyond what the Nuns can afford.
Ecuador – $100,000
Founded in 1669, the Discalced Carmelite Nuns of the Monastery of the Most Holy Trinity in Quito trace their roots back to the first Carmelite Monastery founded in Ecuador sixteen years prior. The monastery has enjoyed a long and rich history, having moved to its present location in 1705 through the intercession of Our Lady, whose image is enshrined above the main altar in the church. The monastery and the church are registered historical buildings which form part of the patrimony of the country. With the passage of time, the Church has undergone various interventions to repair damages caused by earthquakes. In April 2016, an earthquake shook the region and cracks and other fissures appeared in the walls in the patio, the chapels, the church and the cells (the Sister’s bedrooms). Many cracks however are far from superficial. In 2018, work began on Quito’s Metro and the monastery with its church suffered severe structural damage including its sewer system and electrical connections. Neither the local government nor the Institute for Patrimony has responded to requests by the Sisters to repair the damages. The local community has invested $2,000 in the reinforcement of one of the sides of the monastery, however the remaining parts of the monastery are still in need of intervention. The project entails the restoration of damaged walls, the replacement of wooden floors on the second level, the installation of vents to address the humidity in the walls and electrical work.
Ecuador – $35,000
Franklin Tello Hospital, an apostolate of the Apostolic Vicariate of Aguarico, is situated in the village of Nuevo Rocafuerte on the Napo River in the heart of the Amazon rainforest on Ecuador’s border with Peru where the local population is 6,500. The hospital was declared “binational” under an agreement by both countries because it is the only health facility within 300 km in Ecuador and within 250 km in Peru. It primarily serves the indigenous people, whose only connection to this village or the outside world is the river. In 2019, it served a little more than 9,800 patients for doctor’s visits and hospitalizations. The most common ailments treated are severe colds, intestinal parasites, tonsillitis, urinary tract infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, and most recently Covid-19. The Hospital has 21 beds and is equipped for minor surgeries, pre- and post- natal care, general medicine, dentistry, vaccinations, laboratory services, x-rays, echograms, electrocardiograms, colonoscopies and treatment of malnutrition. The Hospital seeks to promote the health and wellbeing of the most vulnerable (pregnant women, children, the elderly and those with chronic infirmities) and to prevent outbreaks of malaria and dengue fever. The Hospital is in urgent need of a new roof and rain gutter system. The roof’s present state of decay poses a health risk to all, as it is made of asbestos. When it rains, the water breaks off small fragments. The Hospital would like to replace the roof with new sheets that contain polyurethane insulation. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
El Salvador – $40,000
Sonsonate -- NO FURTHER INFO
El Salvador – $94,958
Saint John the Baptist Cathedral Parish was erected on 10 May 1787. The church is situated in the city of Chalatenango, which has a population of 12,500 inhabitants. The parish has a vibrant faith community with various ministries to respond to the needs, both spiritual and material, of the parish and community. The parish rectory was purchased in 1927 and was last renovated in 1955. The building itself is made of mud and concrete with a roof composed of wooden beams and tiles. The impetus for undertaking the present renovations of the rectory is its deteriorated state. The roof leaks, and during heavy rains water pours down the inside walls. Consequently, there is damage to the walls, the floor tiles and the electrical wiring. Besides housing two priests, a seminarian and the cook, the rectory is also used for catechesis, meetings and other parish events; its deteriorated state presents a danger to all who enter. The Bishop would like to renovate the residence, addressing the leaking roof and repairing the damages. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Guatemala – $9,500
For twenty years the Auxiliary Bishop of the US Military Archdiocese has volunteered with Vision for the Poor in assisting the development of sustainable eye care facilities in Latin America, Haiti and Africa. Vision for the Poor provides comprehensive eye care, from eyeglasses to surgeries, to 350,000 patients each year at fifteen hospitals and centers in eight countries. Vision for the Poor would like to build six new centers in Guatemala, each treating up to 40,000 patients yearly. While the centers are self-supporting in their operational budgets, they need external support for large capital projects. The Military Auxiliary Bishop requests assistance in financing half the cost of the ophthalmic equipment needed for a new vision center. The equipment includes a slit lamp, phoropter, chair/stand, auto-refractor, lensometer, digital visual acuity, trial lenses and frame.
Honduras – $99,936
The Asociación Colaboración Esfuerzo (A.C.O.E.S.) was founded in 1996 in Honduras in order to evangelize impoverished young people through educational initiatives. ACOES has childcare centers, student residences for young people from rural and indigenous communities, schools and scholarship programs. More than 30,000 children and young people benefit from their services. One of the priorities of ACOES is to provide an appropriate place where human formation can occur. Living in the city with all its noise adds a level of difficulty in the creation of a peaceful environment. For this reason, ACOES wants to build a residence hall on an old ranch (Finca San Antonio) located 50 km from Tegucigalpa in order to provide a place of retreat for young people and their formators. The ranch already has residences for full-time and part-time students, a dining hall, a chapel, several classrooms/meeting rooms, a field for sports and sheds. This new residence hall, a two story building that could house 16 to 64 people (8 bedrooms with up to 2 bunkbeds each), would be for the retreatants.
Honduras – $100,000
The Diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán covers five departments of the country. It has an area of 17,338 km2 and a population of 1.5 million inhabitants, of which nearly 925,000 are Catholic. The Diocese has 48 parishes and 70 priests. Since 2017, preparations have been underway to erect a new Diocese from a portion of the Diocese of Santa Rosa. The new Diocese will cover two departments, a territory of 7,351 km2, and a population of approximately 575,000 inhabitants. The Diocese will have 21 parishes, 25 priests and 22 religious. Part of the necessary preparations include making provisions for the new episcopal residence and for the curial offices. There will be three offices will be on the ground floor and three bedrooms on the upper floor. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Honduras – $62,044
The headquarters of the Honduran Episcopal Conference was built more than twenty years ago. The Conference has provided for the maintenance and embellishment of the building in order to create a workplace that is dignified, functional and welcoming. At different times in the past twenty years, the Conference has had to reinforce or renovate the corrugated fiber cement sheets that cover the roof. Five years ago the roof received a costly refurbishing. The most recent fissures indicate that sheets that cover the roof have reached the end of their lifespan and must be replaced. The leaking roof puts the teaching materials and the equipment inside the headquarters at risk.
Mexico – $100,000
The Visitation Monastery of Saint Mary in the Diocese of Celaya (Mexico) was founded in May 2013. Since that time the twelve Sisters have been living in a small house which they have adapted as much as possible to the exigencies of their cloistered religious life while awaiting the completion of their new Monastery. Through the help of various Monasteries of the Order, various institutions and other benefactors, the Sisters have succeeded in building a perimeter wall (2015), planting an orchard (2016), constructing the external walls of the north wing of the Monastery (2016 to 2019), and installing a drainage system (2017). The present phase of construction is concerned with plastering the external walls of the building. The Sisters also need to waterproof the building, plaster the interior walls, tile the floor, install doors and windows and purchase bathroom and kitchen accessories. The North Wing of the Monastery will accommodate eighteen Sisters. In the future, the Sisters hope to add a second wing and a larger chapel.
Mexico – $100,000
When the second Bishop of Tuxtepec took office in 2005, he decided, not without some reservations and economic difficulty, to build a new Cathedral as the previous one, built in 1852 and dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, was in a state of deterioration and insufficient to accommodate the number of faithful. In 2009 work began on the project, taking advantage as much as possible of the local resources and the collective labor of the townspeople. In 2016 the construction suffered a serious setback: an accident in the installation of a vault that took the lives of four workers and injured seventeen others. Construction was halted while the Diocese attended to the medical care of the injured, compensated the families of the deceased, and dealt with the related legal and labor matters. In January 2018, the construction resumed with a new security framework in place. The Cathedral towers are now complete and work is beginning on the sanctuary. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Mexico – $100,000
The Diocese of La Paz (Mexico) is located in Baja California, an area with very limited financial resources. The Bishop, who has undertaken various efforts to promote vocations and the permanent formation of his priests, desires also to build a home for the priests of the Diocese who are elderly or ill. The Bishop also envisions this home as a place where priests from the distant parts of the Diocese, more than 500 km away, can lodge when they need to visit the Bishop, attend meetings, or attend to other business in the city of La Paz. The home is located the central part of the city near a health center and next to a parish where the elderly priests can continue to exercise their ministry in the celebration of Mass, the hearing of confessions, and in spiritual direction. The Diocese has put forth great effort in financing nearly 65% of the almost $1.2 million project and is seeking assistance in bringing the project to a conclusion.
Paraguay – $20,780
The Mariopolis Center María Madre de la Humanidad is a center for meetings, congresses and retreats for the Focolare Movement in Paraguay. Situated 20 km from the capital, the Center opened in August 2003 and has provided spiritual and human formation to more than 65,000 people from various states and provinces. The Center can accommodate up to 200 people in its meeting rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, public spaces and outdoor areas. In recent years the number of people who frequent the Center has grown from 4,137 people in 2016 to 5,164 people in 2018. At the same time, the average age of those who frequent the Center has also increased, and the Center is receiving more guests who are over the age of 65 (20% of their guests in 2018 were in this demographic group compared to 15% in 2016). In order to address the physical limitations that sometimes present themselves with old age, the Focolare Movement would like to make María Madre de la Humanidad handicap accessible by: constructing two handicap accessible rooms on the ground floor, installing three toilets for those with reduced mobility in the bathrooms serving the meeting rooms and dining room, renovating eight bathrooms to include folding and fixed bars near the toilets and in the showers and installing two ramps for access to the dining room and one meeting room.
Peru – $18,500
Created in 1963, the Diocese of Chota is located in the Andes in the north of the country. This region is the poorest in the country, with more than 60% of the people living in poverty, more than 43% suffering from chronic malnutrition, and with an illiteracy rate of over 22%. The Diocese, which has 16 parishes served by 35 diocesan and 4 religious priests, has been richly blessed with vocations: 25 seminarians in minor seminary and 30 in major seminary. This is due, in part, to the work of 2000 catechists who organize First Friday adoration and other activities in each rural zone. However, among the worries of the Diocese is the proselytism of non-Catholic sects which use social communication media to distort the Catholic faith of the people. The people are still very religious despite the fact that television, cell phones and internet have marred the faith and habits of the faithful. The Diocese deems it necessary to utilize television broadcasting to deepen and sustain the faith of Catholics. It has already obtained a cable television channel and is transmitting programming from various Catholic stations in Mexico, the US and Argentina. The difficulty is that most of the local people do not have cable and rely on open signal transmissions instead. In view of this, the Diocese has acquired a transmission frequency and has an arrangement with the Municipality for the use of land. What it lacks is a transmitter and antennas to make the station operational.
Peru – $27,087
Immaculate Conception church is located in Lagunas, a town in the Amazon rainforest, accessible only by river. The area was evangelized by the Passionist Fathers and in 1940 a primitive church dedicated to the Immaculate Conception was built. However, it rather quickly fell into ruin and the zealous pastor dreamed of building a larger and more beautiful church. After two years of untiring work and sacrifice the new church, also dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, was completed in 1947. It was the pride and joy of the Cocamillas, the indigenous people who live in the area. On 26 May 2019, Laguana experienced an earthquake with a magnitude of 8. The epicentre was in the town itself, and the church, built with adobe, was not structurally sound enough to withstand the quake. Though the building is still standing, the fissures in the walls, one leaving a gap of 10 cm, are a sign that it is in danger of collapse. The Administrator of the Apostolic Vicariate would like to rebuild the church with the proper foundations and in accord with the civil norms. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Uruguay – $61,477
The Mariopolis Center El Pelicano, located in Montevideo, is a building belonging to the Focolare Movement in Uruguay which is used for meeting, seminars and spiritual retreats for people and groups belonging to the Focolare Movement, to other Catholic religious organizations, and to various other groups. El Pelicano opened its doors in 1998 and is able to accommodate over 200 persons in its various outdoor spaces, meeting rooms, dining halls and 48 bedrooms. In recent years the number of people who frequent the Center has grown. At the same time, the average age of those who frequent the Center has also increased and the Center is receiving more guests who are over the age of 65. This is a direct reflection of the general trend in demographics in the country itself. In order to address the physical limitations that sometimes present themselves with old age, the Focolare Movement would like to make El Pelicano handicap accessible through the installation of an elevator and the installation of heating and air-conditioning units in the meeting room and in twelve bedrooms.
Venezuela – $16,689
San Juan Bautista is one of three colonial period churches located in the central quarter of the Diocese of San Carlos (Venezuela). Built in 1776, the church forms part of the spiritual, cultural and artistic patrimony of the state. It served as a fort during Venezuela’s War for Independence in 1814 and its bell tower is thought to have been the origin of the shot that killed General Zamora in the Federal War in 1860. The parish of which it is a part has a vibrant faith community. In 2005 San Juan Bautista was designated by the Diocese as a Eucharistic Shrine. However, the condition of the church has deteriorated to such a point that it was closed in 2018 for the safety of the faithful, for fear that the roof or one of the walls would collapse during Mass. Repairs and updating are also badly needed for the panelling and electrical system. The government has denied every possible avenue for assisting with the restorations. The grave economic crisis precludes a local contribution. Because of the closure, many parishioners have stopped coming to church to pray and have lost hope, overwhelmed by the sufferings around them. Of the three churches in the quarter of San Carlos, two have been closed for safety, San Juan Bautista and the Cathedral. Only one church remains in the area and it is also in less than optimal condition.
Venezuela – $100,000
The Diocese of Barcelona is located in the north of Venezuela on the Caribbean. For the past three years the Diocese has been developing a program of formation for its first year seminarians. Twelve young men presently reside in a rectory that the Diocese has adapted for the purposes of their initial formation. The residence is located in an underprivileged area of the city where, in conjunction with the Pastor of the parish, the young seminarians participate in the pastoral care of the poor, including visits, procuring medicine and providing food assistance. The Bishop visits weekly, giving courses in spirituality. The staff includes four priests, one psychologist, and various religious and professors. The program is designed in conjunction with the Major Seminary in Cumaná, where they will continue their philosophy and theology studies. The number of first year seminarians has grown and the Diocese is not able to receive more, or give them the proper living conditions suited to their formation. For this reason, the Diocese would like to restructure the existing building, giving more space to the seminarians and the priest in charge of their formation. There will be an addition of a dormitory which will have a block of 10 restrooms and will be able to accommodate 16 seminarians. In the existing building, the rooms will include a bedroom for the priest formator, a kitchen, a dining room and two common rooms. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Venezuela – $10,000
The Diocese of Cabimas is located in the western part of Venezuela on Lake Maricaibo. There are forty-five parishes in the Diocese, one of which is San Benito de Palermo. In January 2020, the parish celebrated its 25th anniversary. Owing to the grave economic crisis of the nation and the difficulty of supplying construction materials, the project of completing the church has been behind schedule. For the past four years the lack of a completed church complex has significantly limited the pastoral work in this community of 15,000. The church building will be able to accommodate 600 people. The entire parish complex will also include two rooms available for catechesis, parking for 30 vehicles, an office for pastoral activities and rectory. The pastor asks $10,000 for the installation of the marble floor for the main altar, the closure of the works of the infrastructure, the installation of the electrical circuits and board and the installation of an anti-fire system.
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Bangladesh – $100,000
Saint Joseph Church in Dharenda is located 25 km from the city of Dhaka. For years it was a rural area, but with the rise of industrialization many have moved there for work in the garment factories and other manufacturing companies. In many families both parents work to earn their living, leaving the children under the care of a family member or sending them to a nearby hostel. These hostels lack Christian formation and in them the girls are often targets of sexual harassment. Saint Joseph High School and College is a well renowned institution in the area, having just celebrated 50 years. Many parents send their children there, but there is no hostel for the girls which hampers their education and Christian formation. The proposed hostel will have two floors. The ground floor will contain a dining room, study hall and parlor. The first floor will have a dormitory for the girls and rooms for the Sisters, tutors and guests. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Bangladesh – $85,000
The Congregation of Holy Cross has been working in the Chattogram area since 1853. The Hill Tracts Region nearby began to be evangelized in the 1950s but the area is controlled by the army and foreigners are restricted. Nevertheless, there are seven large parishes, three of which are served by the Holy Cross Fathers who are now taking the initiative, despite many challenges, to establish a new mission in a particularly remote area of scattered hill villages to support the Christian population and continue the proclamation of the Gospel. It is hoped that the new mission will in time become a parish in its own right. In order to facilitate the creation of this new mission – to begin as a sub-parish of the Bolipara parish – there is a need to construct adequate facilities, principally a building to serve as both a residence for the Fathers of the Holy Cross as well as office space for meetings. The residence will contain four bedrooms for the priests, one guest bedroom, a chapel, an office and a dining room.
Bangladesh – $100,000
Since 1928, the Salesian Sisters of Mary Immaculate have worked in Bangladesh, providing education (both religious and secular), assistance to families, health care services and other works of charity among impoverished indigenous peoples. Many young girls served by the Sisters are vulnerable to various forms of exploitation due to their lack of education, which leaves them socially and economically marginalized. The Catholic Parish at Radhanagar, where the proposed project is located, is a new parish (established in May 2019). It ministers to people from thirty-seven villages, mostly of the Adivasi community, who are generally unemployed and impoverished, with little access to educational and social resources. The Salesian Sisters wish to build a hostel for Adivasi girls, who can live at the parish and receive a quality education, as well as formation in the Catholic faith, in order to enhance their prospects for social and economic advancement in society. The planned hostel will comprise two floors (with the possibility of further expansion in future years). The ground floor will include a chapel, dining/study room, office space and parlour, a staff dining room and storage rooms. The first floor will contain the dormitory for the girls and staff, bathrooms and an infirmary. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
India – $74,163
The Mission at Ramnagar is one of the oldest mission stations in the territory of the Diocese of Bettiah. It has existed since 1895 and currently serves a predominantly poor and illiterate population. The number of Catholics has grown in the past few years, and the Mission operates a school with 239 students and a health care centre. Most of the Catholics in the Mission attend daily Mass regularly and the Mission has a number of groups for children and women, providing religious education and opportunities for social and economic advancement. The present church and priests’ residence was built nearly 100 years ago. At present, the building is in poor and unsafe condition, with a damaged roof liable to collapse, unstable foundations, inadequate water and electricity and infested with termites and rats. The construction of a new church and priests’ residence will enable the sacraments to be celebrated in a dignified setting and decent living quarters and office space for priests. It will also be possible for additional priests to stay at the Mission while traveling to outlying areas in order to meet the spiritual needs of rural faithful. The project is designed to accommodate living quarters for up to four priests, along with office space, a meeting parlour and a dining area on the second floor, while the church encompasses the entirety of the ground floor. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
India – $84,515
The Parish at Dalabari, dedicated to Saint Thomas the Apostle, was established in 2004. The Catholic population is currently 1,789 people from 358 families spread out in 17 mission stations. The Parish is served by one resident priest and four religious sisters. There is also a Catholic school with 585 children. Additionally, the Parish conducts catechetical formation and health care camps to educate the people of the region about good hygiene. The Parish celebrates two Masses on Sundays and Holy Days, with 600 to 700 faithful present at each Mass. The region in which the Parish is located is very poor, and illiteracy, gambling and alcoholism are significant problems. Since the founding of the Parish, sacramental celebrations have been held in a temporary shed with bamboo walls, a thatched grass roof and a mud floor. The Parish spends a considerable amount each year on repairs, and with the growth in the Catholic population, the current structure is too small to accommodate the faithful for Mass. Consequently, the Parish is seeking to build a new permanent church of 4,800 square feet with a seating capacity for 700 persons. The new church building would also include a sacristy and a small veranda where the faithful can gather. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
India – $78,981
The Parish of Our Lady of Fatima at Jaitala was established in 1936, with seven Catholic families forming the initial congregation. Since that time, the Parish has grown and presently counts 130 families. Most of the faithful are farmers, cultivating cotton and wheat. The region in which the Parish is located is poor, but it offers opportunities for evangelization, and the Church has good relations with those of other faiths.The present church building is small and in a dilapidated condition. The rear portion of the church has collapsed, and it is unknown how much longer the tile roof will last. In order to ensure a dignified and worthy place for the celebration of Mass and the sacraments, the Parish is seeking to renovate and repair the church structure, both exteriorly and interiorly. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Indonesia – $100,000
Founded in Verona, Italy, over 200 years ago, the Canossian Sisters have been in Indonesia for only ten years. Though the Province has seventy-seven Sisters, most of them are young. Trained as teachers, the Sisters operate a primary school and kindergarten in Kupang on the island of Timor. However, in Kasongan on the island of Borneo, the Sisters have only a kindergarten. Seeing the needs of the children for further education and at the request of the parents, the Sisters added in 2018 an elementary school, the only Catholic elementary school in the vast district. The school presently shares the same facilities as the kindergarten, but is in urgent need of its own building so that the Sisters can continue to add more classes and accept more students. The land for the new school building already belongs to the Sisters. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Indonesia – $100,000
In 1992, two members of the Community of the Canons Regular of Jesus the Lord began a mission in Vladivostok in Eastern Russia. In 2010, some young men from Indonesia joined the Order, the beginning of a “vocations boom” from Indonesia. The Canons quickly grew from two priests to six priests, nine brothers, nine seminarians and twelve postulants and aspirants, with fifteen more aspirants and two deacons expected this year, for a total of 53 members. A formation house was established in Indonesia in 2015. The Canons erected temporary buildings of stone and bamboo. In 2017, the Papal Foundation gave a grant for the construction of a permanent chapel, which was subsequently expanded to create space for meetings and other activities. In 2018, a kitchen and dining hall were built. A second story covering was added so that the roof could be used for activities. Today, the second story is enclosed with walls and houses twelve young men, sleeping with mattresses on the floors and without dividing walls for privacy. Twenty-one other members are living in the temporary bamboo structures. The community would like to build a two-story dormitory containing a library, a meeting room, a music room, an office, two guest bedrooms, two priest bedrooms, twenty-four rooms for seminarians and bathrooms. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Mongolia – $100,000
The Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco were founded in 1872 and have been serving in Mongolia since 2007. At the request of the Bishop, the Sisters started a kindergarten and elementary school with both schools operating out of the same facilities. In 2019 the Sisters undertook, at the behest of the local government, the construction of new kindergarten building due to insufficient space in the previous building. A necessary part of this construction included the installation of a heating system. The system cost $250,000. The Congregation paid $50,000 and they received a $100,000 grant from the Papal Foundation. The Sisters are again turning to the Foundation for assistance in making the final payment.
Myanmar – $100,000
The Zetaman Sisters of the Little Flower were founded in 1995 in order to bring the Gospel to non-Christians in the Archdiocese of Taunggyi. The Congregation engages in catechesis for adults and children, operates a child care center and home for orphans and the poor, assists with basic healthcare and offers instruction. Today the Sisters number 41 perpetually professed, 19 temporary professed, 10 novices and 10 postulants, living in 16 communities in three Dioceses. The Sisters gather several times a year at the Motherhouse for retreat, formation programs or courses. The Congregation lacks adequate space in the chapel to accommodate all the Sisters and, at present, has no gathering space for conferences, seminars, etc. The Sisters would like to erect a Formation Center with a conference hall on the main floor and a chapel on the floor above. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Myanmar – $100,000
Founded in France, the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions came to Sittwe (Myanmar) in 1897 to educate those in need, especially children. Saint Ann’s Convent was the first foundation of the Sisters and its school developed over the years, receiving the support and approbation of the Burmese Education Authorities. It was considered to be among the best in country. The school reopened in 1948 after being closed for World War II, during which the Sisters were sent off to a concentration camp. In 1965 all secondary schools and boarding schools were nationalized and Saint Ann’s School became No. 4 High School. The Sisters adapted to the changing circumstances by teaching religion classes before and after school and working in preschool ministry. The building which is Saint Ann’s Convent is presumed to have been built in the 1870s by foreign missionaries. It is the only historical building in Sittwe. The difficulty is that while the foundation is good, the leaking roof, the decaying windows and doors and the crumbling brick walls have made the convent dangerous for living. The Sisters would like to reinforce the structure with steel, replace the hardwood surfaces and repair the roof, among other restoration works.
Pakistan – $19,159
The Parish of Ibn e Mariam (Son of Mary) is one of fifteen parishes in the Diocese of Multan. As one of the largest parishes, it serves 365 families in five substations. The congregation has outgrown the church building which was built in 1977. This means that parishioners attending Sunday Mass often must stand outside. The local authorities, concerned about violence caused by radical Muslims, have warned the pastor repeatedly about avoiding gatherings outside in the church compound, insisting that all attendees remain inside the building. For the Triduum and other major feasts the parish often rents a tent in order to celebrate the Mass outside where all the faithful can attend. This constitutes a big expense for the parish. To address these issues the pastor would like to expand the church. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Philippines – $98,426
The Good Shepherd Sisters in Quezon City have been serving the needs of families, especially women and children, for over a century. In the year 2000 they established the Saint Mary Euphrasia Integrated Development Foundation Incorporated (SMEIDFI) to serve as the Province’s social welfare and development arm and a unifying mechanism for its ministries. One such ministry is their 2018 pilot project: the Good Shepherd Reception Centre (GSRC), a facility to care for victims and survivors of online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC). Because OSEC is a relatively new phenomenon, there is a severe lack of resources and facilities to care for victims and address the causes of such abuse in the Philippines. The GSRC is the first such church-run facility in the country. The project seeks not only to care for survivors of abuse, especially children and young women at the GSRC facility, but also to prevent future online exploitation through their new EXIT ONLINE training program. It is hoped that government funding will become available for the project in future years, but from 2018 it has relied entirely on volunteer support. To secure its future for the next 12 months the Good Shepherd Sisters seek funding from the Papal Foundation to: refurbish the GSRC ($14,000); provide ongoing support to OSEC survivors ($65,642); develop an online platform to detect and respond to survivors of OSEC ($3,320); and train professionals to achieve these objectives ($3,400). Administrative costs are $12,064.
Philippines – $65,889
The Diocese of Kabankalan was erected in 1987 and is one of the four dioceses on Negros Island (Philippines). Of a total population of 1 million there are an estimated 800,000 Catholics, served by 55 active diocesan priests who lead between 15 and 30 Basic Ecclesial Communities in each of the 22 parishes and 6 chaplaincies of the Diocese. Thera are also 19 parochial schools and a minor seminary. Most of the faithful have average or below-average income levels. Sunday Mass attendance is around 10%, with 2% active in assisting with pastoral work, participation in both of which is declining. To achieve the objectives of the 2011 Diocesan Pastoral Assembly (which include increasing Mass attendance and the number of young people involved in ecclesial activities), the Diocesan Pastoral Office (DPO) was established in 2014 to support parishes and clergy. It is difficult to find a suitable venue for more than 500 persons to attend the many fruitful meetings of the DPO. As such, additional funding to that already locally provided ($13,340) is sought to enable the construction of a new multi-purpose venue, primarily to host larger gatherings of pastoral and formation meetings and to serve as an evacuation center for a number of poor villages subjected to frequent flooding close to the minor seminary at Binicuil. The total cost is $79,299.
Sri Lanka – $98,808
The Salesian Sisters have been serving in Sri Lanka since 2008. Presently in their mission house in Lindawewa, the Sisters offer counselling services, provide short term accommodation to young women who are abused or in need of a place to stay, provide meals and help them to find a job and other shelter. The Sisters would like to construct a hostel in Lindawewa where women between the ages of 17 and 35 can stay. Many women who are not able to attend University migrate to work in this area in the garment factories, hotels, shops, schools and dispensaries. The Sisters would like to provide these women with a safe shelter, with humane living conditions. The Sisters also see this as an opportunity to reach the youth and help them to successfully integrate into society for the betterment of society. Because the country is less than one percent Catholic, the women’s hostel will also provide opportunities of evangelization and interreligious dialogue. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Sri Lanka – $80,000
The Franciscan Brothers of Saint Vincent de Paul began in 1876 under the guidance of an Italian priest. When the priest returned to Italy, the Congregation came under the care of the Archbishop of Colombo. In 1982 the Congregation was united to the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis and became the Vice Province of Our Lady of Lanka. The community is composed of 54 solemnly professed friars, 10 friars in temporary vows, 3 novices, 8 pre-novices and 38 candidates, all of whom are native Sri Lankans. The existing building for the formation of the pre-novices is 75 years old and in poor condition. The Congregation would like to construct a new house of formation with two floors. Because it is expensive, the project will be split into two phases. The first phase is the completion of the ground floor. It will include two dormitories to accommodate 20 pre-novices, a chapel, a study area, an office, bedrooms for the Director and his assistant, kitchen, dining hall and staff bedroom, computer room and recreation room. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Timor Leste – $100,000
The Parish in Osseoqueli, Timor Leste, is staffed by the Salesians, who minister to over 6,000 faithful in a territory that encompasses many small villages. The people are very poor and they look to the Church for their spiritual needs and even their material needs. The parish has already built an elementary and secondary school which can accommodate nearly 700 students. Two years ago the parish presented to the Papal Foundation a request for assistance in the construction of parish facilities: a new church, a youth center, and parish offices and a residence for the Salesians. The grant graciously awarded was put towards the construction of the new church, which is in the final stages of completion. The parish turns, once again, to the Papal Foundation to ask for assistance in the construction of the youth center. The youth center will be a place where the young people can have access to books and media, where they can have meetings and receive formation and where they can gather for sports and recreational activities.
Timor Leste – $99,562
The Canossian Sisters have served in Timor Leste since 1879, committed to educating young people from kindergarten through College. In 2019 the Sisters requested and received a grant from the Papal Foundation for the construction of a convent on the island of Atauro, 25 km from Dili. The convent represented the first phase of the construction of the Youth Training Center and Dormitories. Having completed the convent, the Sisters are now focusing on the construction of the Center and the Dormitories. The Youth Training Center is envisioned to educate young people between the ages of 18 and 28 who have completed secondary school but due to family economic constraints were not able to receive further education. The Training Center will offer courses in English, Portuguese, Hotel and Restaurant Services and Computer Skills. The Sisters have received sufficient funds to undertake the construction and are asking from the Papal Foundation assistance in furnishing the kitchen, refectory (dining hall) and the female dormitories (80 beds).
Timor Leste – $100,000
The Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Our Lady have been present in Laleia in Timor-Leste since February 2014. In Laleia there are no local structures for early childhood education. The Sisters are educating 80 children between the ages of 3 and 6 in a small space provided by the parish. The children are given a daily snack and a full meal because they belong to poor large families and often suffer from malnutrition. Unfortunately, the current space that the Sisters are using is insufficient for their needs. The Sisters would like to build a kindergarten with three classrooms, bathrooms, dining room, kitchen, storage space and administrative offices, including an infirmary. The estimated cost for the construction of the kindergarten is $146,757. The kindergarten is part of a larger complex being built, namely a convent for 8 Sisters and a residence for young people and/or volunteers. The Congregation will fund the rest of the project.
Vietnam – $100,000
The Diocese of Vinh dates back to 1846.Despite the wars and persecutions, natural disasters and drought, the Catholic faith has flourished among the people.The Diocese serves more than 285,000 Catholics in 120 parishes.The people are active in their faith and the Diocese has been blessed with many religious vocations. What the Diocese lacks is a place for pastoral activities.Annual retreats and convocations for the priests necessitate using the facilities of the Vinh-Thanh Seminary. The seminarians must return to their homes in order for the priests to have accommodation; thus interrupting their studies.Additionally, religious Sisters studying theology at Pope Saint John XXIII Learning Center have been using classrooms at the Lovers of the Holy Cross Convent, which is difficult and inconvenient for both groups. Finally, the Diocese needs a place where it can have Committee meetings and host large or medium sized events (for more than 30 people). The Diocese has planned a four story building with 159 bedrooms, chapel, meeting rooms, classrooms, and offices. In addition to local contributions, the Diocese has approached other organizations for assistance.
Papua New Guinea – $43,590
Saint Gabriel's Technical Secondary School, run by the Montfort Brothers of Saint Gabriel, is situated in Kiunga, a town on the Fly River in the rainforest. The school has 740 students, 350 of which are girls. Three hundred students board at the school. The remainder are day students, some of whom arrive by canoe while others walk up to 5 km to attend school. Saint Gabriel’s aims to provide a quality education to young people who live in remote areas, as well as helping the students grow in the faith. One area of need at Saint Gabriel’s is more toilets for the female students. Presently, the school has only a few pit toilets. Given that health and hygiene are priorities, the Director would like to build a block of sixteen toilets for the female students. The students and teachers will work together on the construction of the toilet block as part of the practicum for the technical skills learned in class.
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Bahamas – $76,205
On 1 September 2019, Hurricane Dorian struck Grand Bahama Island as a Category 5 storm and, lasting two days, left immense destruction in its wake. Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Academy (MSSCA) received extensive damage to the entire eastern classroom block, resulting in the loss of equipment and damage to the roof and 13 classrooms. It should be noted that the areas of MSSCA which were repaired after Hurricane Matthew, with the assistance of the Papal Foundation, withstood the storm. While the property is insured, the deductible exceeds the cost of repairing the property. The Archbishop is turning, once again, to the Papal Foundation for assistance.
Haiti – $100,000
In 2017 the Capuchin Friars in Haiti, inspired by the appeal of the Holy Father in Laudato Sì to create industries from waste, undertook a project entitled “Industrialization of Plastic Waste”. The aim was twofold: to provide a viable means for disposing of the plastic waste littering the streets and beaches of Port-au-Prince and to provide gainful employment to about 20 families. The plastic would be used to produce blocks which would later be used to make tiles and other products necessary for civil construction. The Friars received funding from the Italian Episcopal Conference; this has been used to purchase the machinery (the cutter, mixer and moulder). The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Haiti – $32,452
The Church of the Immaculate Conception is located in the mountains southwest of Port-au-Prince. The closest paved road is ten miles away. Access is limited to a dirt or rock trail in mountain terrain. The parishioners are mainly small plot farmers who live simply without electricity or running water. In January 2010 the church was so severely damaged by an earthquake that the pastor wanted to rebuild rather than repair for fear of collapse.
Haiti – $100,000
The Parish of Saint Bertin is located in the District of the Petit Bourg de Port Margot, one of the poorest areas within the Archdiocese of Cap-Haïtien. On 5 October 2018, an earthquake caused much devastation within the Parish, destroying close to one hundred family dwellings and also damaging the church of Saint Bertin. At the same time, hundreds of persons, particularly young persons, are traumatized by the earthquake and in need of psychological and spiritual support. These problems have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, and many young people have turned to drugs and alcohol in order to relieve their situation. The present Parish rectory is in an unsafe condition, with severe cracks in its walls due to the earthquake. In fact, one wall in the Pastor’s bedroom collapsed. In order to provide decent living quarters for the Pastor and Parochial Vicar, and in order to offer counselling services to the youth of the Parish, the Parish seeks to build a new rectory containing office space on the ground floor for medical personnel who could assist young people in overcoming traumas and a priests’ residence on the top floor.
Jamaica – $100,000
The Diocese of Montego Bay in Jamaica, formerly part of the Diocese of Kingston, was erected in 1967 to serve the needs of the western and northern parts of the island. The Catholic population is estimated at 8,500. The Cathedral, constructed between 1957 and 1960, has received no structural improvements and is now in a much deteriorated state which negatively impacts both the parish and local communities. In order to invest in the future of the mission of the Diocese, urgent renovations are required to improve the electrical supply and the lighting, refurbish benches and paint the entire building, as well as installing new toilet facilities. The Papal Foundation is providing partial funding for this project.
Dominican Republic – $94,733
The Monastery of Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia y San José is located in the Diocese of Baní. The recently constructed Monastery, which has bedrooms, kitchen and a chapel, is home to ten Discalced Carmelite Sisters. However, the Sisters are in need of a place (chapter room) where they can hold the regular meetings necessary for maintaining the contemplative life. In the interior courtyard bordering the chapel, an access area is proposed that will connect the lower floor of the Monastery to the second and third floor by means of an elevator.
Italy – $63,200
The World Union of Catholic Teachers (WUCT) was founded in 1951 to be a reference point for Catholics employed in the field of teaching. It promotes opportunities to meet, train, compare, verify, and plan in dynamic cooperation with the Church, culture and society and with all those interested in education. The WUCT maintains relations with the Holy See through the Congregation for Catholic Education and the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. Each year the WUCT supports projects benefitting Catholic education in various countries. The projects that the WUCT wishes to support this year include: (1) €11,000 to support the training activities and the material needs of a youth centre in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The costs include school fees, food, masks and training; (2) €20,000 to provide for the training of 3,000 Catholic school teachers in eight dioceses over a period of ten months in Burundi; (3) €11,000 to purchase computer equipment for Saint Joseph Catholic High School in Romania; (4) €3,500 to provide training in non-violence for teachers, students and their families in all the dioceses of the Republic of the Congo; (5) €3,000 to provide a scholarship for three students in Saint Joseph the Worker Parish to attend school outside the present war zone in South Sudan; and (6) €5,000 to provide food assistance and training for families and young people with disabilities and to offer an employment workshop to young mothers in Adepesidi, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Vatican – $100,000
The Centre for Child Protection, headquartered at the Pontifical Gregorian University, has seen its outreach, influence and enrollment grow as it continues with its mission of educating about child abuse. Since July 2019, the Centre has served 22 partner institutions in 17 countries. Its Licentiate program graduated its first class in June. Recently the Centre decided to begin offering a Spanish language Diploma course. The President of the Centre asks the Papal Foundation for continued support of their work.