Giriteka - Regain your dignity

Giriteka - Regain your dignity

Sr Christiana Nshimiyimana smsm - Rawandan Marist Missionary Sister - gives us this news from Ngozi, Burundi:   GIRITEKA is a project set up to respond to the phenomenon of street children in the city of Ngozi which, in recent years, has experienced accelerated expansion with its corollary of new problems. One of the consequences of this reality is the sad situation of street children given their ever-increasing number. The Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary (Marists), called by the Bishop of Ngozi, sought ways to "recover" street children with a view to social reintegration. The reception Centre was set up in 2003. Since the beginning, we have been in contact with...

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Francis' Prayer - Ukraine-Russia-World

Francis' Consecration Prayer: Russia-Ukraine-World

 Pope Francis—united to all the Bishops and Catholic faithful around the world— consecrated Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Friday 25th March, the feast of the Annunciation. The Act of Consecration was prayed during the "24 Hours for the Lord" Lenten penitential service led from St. Peter's Basilica, which began at 5 PM Rome time. The official text is below - and offered for ongoing prayer and reflection:  O Mary, Mother of God and our Mother, in this time of trial we turn to you. As our Mother, you love us and know us: no concern of our hearts is hidden from you. Mother of mercy, how often we have experienced your watchful care a...

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No to human trafficking

Josephine Bahkita - trafficked & Canonized

This week's blog, comes from Fr Kevin Head sm, written as the editorial for February's  Marist Messenger : Human trafficking occurs for many reasons – for work in sweatshops, illegal adoption of children, organ transplants, forced marriages, drug trafficking, begging and prostitution among others. When she was twenty-six, Blessing Okoedion went to Spain from Nigeria with a promise of work in a computer business. However, when she reached Spain, there was no job for her, she had a forged visa, and her traffickers said she owed them $70,000. She had no way to pay, so they sent her to Naples and forced her to work on the streets as a prostitute. Blessing found her way to a shelte...

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Border Town-Sleepy-what's going on?

What's Going On at the Border?

Tony O'Connor, Kiwi Marist, writes from the USA-Mexico Border:    All is pretty quiet here in February. It is colder than normal which makes people sleepy perhaps? Or is there a weariness in the air? At first glance nothing seems to be happening. Lots of planes fly over without our knowing where they are going or who their passengers are. Unaccompanied Central American Minors protected by a US 2008 law are still being allowed to cross the river. But with COVID the centers for minors have them all grounded from coming to religious services here in San Felipe. Trump's Title 42 is perpetuated still by Biden because of OMICRON so they say, which means no to asylum seekers Many peo...

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Nazareth - Family Reintegration Ministry

Reintegration Camp-Marist-Dakar-Senegal

Fr Roger Kasiama sm, Superior of our Marist Community in Dakar, Senegal, wrote this Report at the end of 2021:  Nazareth - Family Reintegration Ministry -  represents the visible face of a project that aims to intervene with children and young people in family breakdown still living on the street, as well as with parents and guardians in order to achieve a healing reintegration into the family.  After a brief break during the winter months, the center's activities resumed at the beginning of October. The purpose of this report is to provide a brief illustrated summary of the achievements of the Nazareth Centre in 2021 THE IMPACT OF FIELD VISITS&nb...

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Del Rio - a Can of Worms

Haitians at Del Rio - Texan Border

Fr Tony O'Connor sm writes from Texaa: "DEL RIO" is a Texan town of some 35,000 people some 230 kilometers west of San Antonio on the Rio Grande River with an international bridge connecting with the town of Acuña (215,00 Pop) on the Mexican side. It is a quiet out of the way connection with the two countries and with very reduced border patrol facilities. The first photo below shows Haitians and Central Americans at Del Rio.  The  second shows them camped under the International Bridge at Del Rio. The stretch of border near Del Rio became the second busiest Border Patrol sector this year with nearly 215,000 arrests out of 1.47 million across the entire border s...

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Code Red for our Planet Home

Code-Red-for-our-Planet-Home

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on climate change has released its latest report. This Sixth Assessment Report is a weighty document at nearly 4000 pages and the science is described as robust. It has been tagged "code red" because human activity is changing our climate in unprecedented ways. A key word for the whole report, according to  Will Steffen  an Australian climate systems scientist, is "urgency". We have this current decade to act and to do so decisively. To shift all human activity and the global economy to a low-carbon footing is the task before us. There can be no new coal, gas or oil developments and existing fossil fuel extraction has to be phased out. 2030 is a key d...

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Connections - the Earth and the Poor

Migrants - Park Reynosa - Mexico

One of the 7 Goals of Laudato Si is to respond to the Cry of the Poor. Tony O'Connor, on the Mexican Border, writes that the Cry of the Earth – drought in Honduras and Guatemala compounded by the Climate Crisis, and political instability, leads to the Cry of the Poor – of those he is working with. I got a call the other day asking if I could get someone to find out the situation of a Venezuelan migrant youth with COVID interned in the Carrion Hospital, Callao, Peru. That's right they asked me!! I left Peru in 2007! However, Pigeon Post is pretty sharp in Callao. We were able to report on the girl to her family in Valencia, Venezuela. That's connection. I was also really affected em...

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I was Sick and you took Care of me

"I was Sick and you took Care of me" [Matt 25: 36]  This is the Second Reflection from the Solidarity Commission of the European Province.  Translations below are in French and Spanish. God the Father, in sickness you let us experience the vulnerability of frail creatures: Bestow upon us abundantly your compassion. Jesus Christ, Son of God, sustain us in times of illness and help us carry your burden. Holy Spirit, we pray to be restored in moments of weariness, that we might ourselves become instruments of your loving mercy.  [Francis: XXVIII World Day of the Sick, 11 February, 2021] Constitutions: Sick and Elderly "The call (of the Marists) is to be truly missionary...

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Street boys - education for a future

Fr Lionel sm - Prayer with the Street Boys

Fr Lionel Mechavez sm, Davao, Philippines, reports on our Marist mission there with the street boys:  Together, we are facing a truly unprecedented situation. The Covid-19 pandemic is affecting all of our families, our businesses, our works, our communities, and our way of life. During this time we wanted to reach out and update you on our life here in Balay Pasilungan. Our government agency, the Department of Education (DepEd), has decided that schedule of opening of classes for school year 2020-­‐2021 be moved to October 5, 2020 from the previous schedule of August 24, 2020. This is to give the Department of Education ample time to prepare all necessary requirements for the imple...

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Ministry to Street Children, Dakar - Senegal

Seeking the lost - bringing them home

Fr Roger Kasiama sm [on the right in the picture below] writes from Dakar - Senegal, on the Marist Ministry of Family and Social Reintegration for Children in Street Situations:   Street actions are frequent visits by animators to various known drop-off points where street youth gather. They make it possible to keep in touch with the youth, to make sensitizations, to practice care on the spot and to give a practical help if necessary… Nazareth Wednesday's These days are reserved for the welcoming of young people in the Nazareth center, in the continuity of street-actions. The focus is on the well-being of children, a great family atmosphere during this day, better sensiti...

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Sandwiches for the homeless in London

Br Ivan Vodopivec sm writes from Notre Dame de France, London: Normally on a Saturday morning our parish centre would be full of volunteers preparing sandwiches, crisps, cakes, biscuits, fruit and soup ready to welcome our 100 -120 visitors, most of them living on the streets or vulnerably housed. But on March 14th that all stopped. The normally lively bustling Leicester square with hundreds of people on the go became a still and quiet and somewhat eerie space. The lock-down had begun and due to socially distancing measures our centre was not able to welcome our guests and keep everyone safe from the virus. Westminster council swung into action and along with organisations like ours beg...

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Homeless children & Covid-19

Fr John Guo sm with Staff of BAPAS

Fr John Guo sm is the Acting Director of Balay Pasilungan Incorporated, a Marist project for homeless children in Davao, Philippines.   Following are some excerpts of their Report as they face the pandemic. The work of BaPas is currently being impacted by COVID-19 We are closely monitoring the impact of the pandemic of COVID-19 around the world and our BaPas  Crisis-Response Team is meeting regularly to assess and how to respond collectively to the situation to ensure the safety of the children and staff of BaPas.  Davao City COVID-19 Situation The whole country is in lock-down. Davao City has a total population of 1,825,450 is in lock-down since March 16. The l...

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a Sandwich - a means of Encounter

Saturday Sandwich for the Homeless

Cosme, a Volunteer at NDF, London, a Marist Ministry writes:     "The sandwich service at Notre Dame de France is a special place". So I was told by my friend Laure a few years ago, at a time when I was looking to give some of my time to help others. I had been somewhat reluctant to go, wake up earlier than I used to on a Saturday morning and meet homeless people. I feared it might make me feel uncomfortable: what would I say, how should I speak, how could I really help? One day, I decided to go, and since then I have always wondered why I hadn't joined the service earlier. This has been a blessing for me in some many ways. The service is open every Saturday for two hours...

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Francis and the Catholic Dormitory of Ee Tu Hta

​This is a story of a kind of 'sustainable development' by a refugee youngster. Former Mission Centre director, Fr Ron Nissen SM, remembers...   Francis Hsa Ku was a teenager when we first met in 2003. It was at MMC* Hostel, Maera Moo refugee camp, Thailand, deep in the jungles on the border of Myanmar.(*Marist Mission Centre Australia). He was one of the tens of thousands of refugees from Myanmar (then Burma) fleeing the brutality of the military regime. MMC had begun funding the Hostel in 1998. I first visited (on the back of an elephant!) in the rainy season of 1999. Since then the Hostel has continued to receive MMC support and is still known as 'MMC Hostel' despite attemp...

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O.C.E.A.N - one community embracing all nations

Wilai - Stateless - with Friend

​Fr Jim Carty sm recently gave the following address at Marist Cerdon College, Marylands, NSW: "We are one we are many"- a wonderful song by Bruce Woodley which captures the theme of today. This school Cerdon College Merrylands represents an example of what the world could and should become- for it is a microcosm where there is respect for diversity,equality for alland strives to be united as one, in its commitment for the common good of the school, Australian and beyond. And you have the added blessing of the protection of the Patron of the College- Mary, mother of Jesus, Mother of us All. As the Entrance song was sung, the flags of the 81 nations representing the 81 nationalities who ...

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Breakfast+ for our Homeless

Serving the homeless at St Pat's

Sr Fidelis sm, gives us this good news from St Patrick's Church Hill, Sydney:  Geography played a significant role in our planning Saturday mornings for our guests who sleep on the streets locally. St. Patrick's Church's local area would be familiar to many, either from visits or from tourism displays.  We are located almost beneath the southern pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the route to Central Station at the southern end of the city passes by Hyde Park and the main retail centre, and skirts Darling Harbour. It is noticeable that there is very little service in terms of food for the homeless here in Harrington street compared to areas near Central Station and a...

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