CATHOLIC MISSION has launched its 2012 Church Appeal with the theme ‘I was hungry and you fed me.’ This campaign will appear in parishes around Australia throughout the coming months and aims to highlight the missionary response to both the spiritual and physical needs of the people in this humanitarian crisis that has crippled Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa following the devastating drought and famine.
The campaign was inspired by the Bible verse Matthew 25:35, and centres on the incredible work in Ethiopia of Sr Maureen Elliott, an Australian Franciscan Missionary of Mary, and Fr Yisehak, a young Ethiopian priest, who are both living examples of what our missionaries do every day to reach out to the people who struggle to survive under desperate poverty and hardship.
They have been with their local communities through the worst of the famine, feeding them body and soul, for they know that the need of these people is not only physical, but also spiritual. This includes a daily feeding program for children through their local Catholic school, an under 5’s malnutrition screening and monitoring program, and daily pastoral visits in remote dioceses of southern Ethiopia.
Catholic Mission National Director, Mr Martin Teulan, says, “Living in a plentiful country, it is hard to imagine that for millions of children a simple plate of corn and beans is the only meal of the day, and that this is not always a guarantee. Up until our feeding program started, many children would not eat for days.
“With the support of Catholic Mission, the quick response of the local Catholic Church to this crisis has saved the lives of many families as they receive essential care. All members of the community benefit – the food goes to any person in need; there is no discrimination, no favouritism.
“The spirit of the community it vital to ensuring these programs thrive – some help with the preparing of food, others come to work with the school clinics. Some members of the community grow in their faith – celebrating Mass with beautiful music and dance, all in the name of Jesus Christ. The Church witnesses their faith and love for one another.
“Those faithful Australians who support this 2012 Catholic Mission Church Appeal are allowing the mission of Jesus Christ to continue through the dedication and commitment of missionaries caring for those in need – both in body and spirit.
“The aftermath of last year’s devastating drought and famine is still overwhelming entire communities, which continue to teeter on the brink between malnutrition and starvation, and we are aiming to raise $1.8 million through this campaign from the Catholic community so we can continue this life-saving work in Ethiopia and around the world,” said Mr Teulan.
Photo supplied by Catholic Mission
To make a donation or for further information on the campaign, visit www.catholicmission.org.au/feedme.
To watch the campaign DVD visit www.catholicmission.org.au/youfedme and to download a copy of the parish appeal kit visit www.catholicmission.org.au/churchappeal.