Catholic Mission, the official international mission aid agency of our church celebrates the start of the first of two appeals held each year in parishes. The first appeal will focus on Catholic Mission’s partnership with Nazareth Home for God’s Children in the Yendi Diocese in the northern region of Ghana, West Africa.
Fr Zaher (pictured left) and Sr Stan (pictured right)
For the sustainability of all Catholic Mission projects, it is sometimes beneficial to invite key personnel connected to projects to meet donors. Events planned for the visit of Sr Stan Therese Mumuni in Melbourne include speaking engagements at St Patrick’s Cathedral, a guest for Catholic Mission donors’ luncheon event as well as visiting a school.
Sr Stan at St Patrick's Cathedral
One very interesting fact about Sr Stan is that she is the foundress of a religious order! In 2009, she founded the Marian Sisters of Eucharistic Love. The work of her order is to rescue and care for orphaned and abandoned children at risk because in her country there is a belief that babies born with disabilities are often considered “spirit children by some in the community.
Sr Stan established the Nazareth Home for God’s children as a haven for vulnerable children who are abandoned or have disabilities. The order’s mission is to protect them from harm and certain death. Nazareth House cares for 78 boys and girls, giving them safety, nutritious meals, healthcare, and education, and the biggest challenge is to always feed the children, educate them and provide for their medical needs.
Since Sr Stan has recently arrived in Australia for the first time, she has gained a more realistic insight into how sometimes, it can very difficult for us to get into her shoes and imagine what it is like when living in her country.
Ghana still faces struggling health and educational systems, lack of access to clean water, poor electricity and transport and roads systems. Nearly two-thirds of the Yendi population are without formal schooling with high rates of illiteracy and lack of education. Donations raised during this appeal will not only support the work of Nazareth House but also go to support constructing a vocational training college in Yendi. This offers a way out of the cycle of neglect and abandonment which traps children in poverty.
Sr Stan’s visit is one of Catholic Mission’s initiatives in Melbourne to raise awareness of the plight of children in Yendi and a luncheon will be hosted at the prestigious 101 Collins Street on the 53rd level. This is only possible due to the generosity of Morgan Stanley whose in-kind contribution is of substantial value. Luncheon on Wednesday 12th June will attract high-value donors and potential new donors to immerse them emotionally with the cause and needs of vulnerable children. As Mother Teresa said: ‘It is not how much you give, but how much love you put into giving’. This will be the theme at this lunch.
For almost 200 years, Catholic Mission has responded to God’s call by working at the grassroots globally and reaching out to those most in need. Now across 160 countries, including remote Australia, Catholic Mission has the unique strength to be able to work within the structure of the Church in the countries that are the poorest.
Last year Pope Francis reminded us that “Every man and woman is a mission; that is the reason for our life on this earth” and we all can continue to be inspired to respond to the needs of the marginalised and oppressed in our world by our ongoing prayerful and financial support for Catholic Mission’s works.