Do something beautiful for God
|With the help of Catholic Mission, the children of Las Malvinas in Peru are now receiving nutrition, literacy and education.|
The theme of the 2011 Catholic Mission Parish Appeal - 'Do something beautiful for God' - is inspired by the active faith of priests, religious and lay missionaries who reach out to the world in love.
It is an opportunity we all have with neighbours near and far.
This year's Parish Appeal for Catholic Mission - the official mission aid agency of the Catholic Church - will support the missionaries of Iquitos in Peru, where every day lay missionary Gabriela Filonowicz, Father Raymundo Portelli and Australian priest Father John Andersen reach out to communities affected by hardship, disease and extreme poverty.
Through their missionary work, they strive to meet the need of the community, whether it is providing food and education for children at the flood plains, medical care and support to those affected by AIDS, or spiritual support to communities in need of the Good News.
By empowering missionaries and their parishes, you enable them to multiply your giving by caring for other in the community.
Gabriela reaches out to those most in need
|Doing something beautiful for God...lay missionary Gabriela Filonowicz.|
For more than a year, Polish lay missionary Gabriela Filonowicz has been running a communial kitchen for children living in the river slum of Las Malvinas on the outskirts of Iquitos.
This is an area of extreme poverty, where people live in precarious wooden houses made of planks and boards with only two or three walls and occasionally no roof.
During the severe floods lasting for at least six-to-seven months of the year, many homes are inundated with flood water. Sewage, rubbish, disease and the stench make this a harsh reality.
Arriving in Iquitos, Gabriela was shocked to discover the living conditions on the flood plains.
"Where I come from in Poland, the garages we build for our cars have better conditions to live in than these people here," Gabriela said.
With the help of the Catholic Church and local bishop, Gabriela opened her communal kitchen where the children can come before or after school to receive a nutritious meal. Often, it is their only meal of the day.
Interacting with the children on a daily basis, Gabriela soon discovered the lack of education and pastoral care on the flood plains.
Today, the program has expanded to help these children with literacy, prayer and education. For most of the children, this is where they first pray to a loving God.
By following Christ’s example, Gabriela is reaching out to meet the need of this community – doing something beautiful for God.
Donate to the 2011 Catholic Mission Parish Appeal
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