TO HELP MITIGATE the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), the international pontifical charity serving the persecuted and suffering Church around the world, is providing $5.5 M in emergency funding to priests and nuns caring for the most vulnerable communities around the world.
In the face of increased social distress worldwide due to COVID-19, this vital initiative will assist priests and nuns who lost their basic means of subsistence, so that they are able to continue carrying out their spiritual and social ministries, such as administering the sacraments, teaching the faith, caring for the sick and elderly, helping the poor and visiting prisoners.
ACN’s funding will be a broad-spectrum intervention, targeting the Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa, through project support.
“As a rising tide of human suffering related to COVID-19 makes itself felt around the world, the demand for social and spiritual care is soaring,” said Thomas Heine-Geldern, ACN’s Executive President.
“It is our wish that this aid, made possible thanks to our donors, will help ease the burden on our courageous priests and nuns, who stand on the front lines, bringing God’s love and compassion to our suffering brothers and sisters. Now more than ever, the light and hope of the Lord is needed.”
While the entire world is coping with the ravages of the pandemic, countless communities in developing countries – already impoverished and with limited resources – are particularly vulnerable in this crisis; often they are dependent on the local Church for social services, including health care.
“We are united in prayer with the brave and dedicated priests and nuns who give their all to serve the world’s most vulnerable communities, and with all who are suffering around the world,” Heine-Geldern continued.
“This is a drop in the bucket in terms of what is and will be needed, but the Church plays a particularly vital spiritual and pastoral role in the day-to-day life of the world’s poorest Christian communities, and we must help strengthen the safety net it provides.”
“I am so thankful to our donors, who, often despite their own pain and hardship, are reaching out to their fellow faithful. It is a beautiful gesture, one that is helping to keep the faith alive.”
With picture of a Sister serving the poor in Rwanda (© ACN)
Directly under the Holy Father, Aid to the Church in Need supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in pastoral need. ACN is a Catholic charity - helping to bring Christ to the world through prayer, information and action.
Founded in 1947 by Father Werenfried van Straaten, whom Pope John Paul II named “An Outstanding Apostle of Charity,” the organization is now at work in over 145 countries throughout the world.
The charity undertakes thousands of projects every year including providing transport for clergy and lay Church workers, construction of church buildings, funding for priests and nuns and help to train seminarians. Since the initiative’s launch in 1979, 43 million Aid to the Church in Need Child’s Bibles have been distributed worldwide.
For more information contact Michael Varenne at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 718-609-0939 or fax 718-609-0938. Aid to the Church in Need, 725 Leonard Street, PO Box 220384, Brooklyn, NY 11222-0384. www.churchinneed.org