On February 2, 2018, Adveniat awarded a $10,000 USD grant to Fr. Joseph Fitzgerald, C.M.
The Vincentian Solidarity Office (VSO), moreover, matched the grant for a total award of $20,000 USD. The grant award was for “Support for the Indigenous World Youth Day 2019 and the formation of youth and the planning 2018.” Fr. Joe is a member of the Eastern Province, ministering to the indigenous Ngäbe people of Panama. He was delegated by the Conference of Latin American Bishops to prepare the first ever, “Indigenous World Youth Day.” The event will take place just prior to the World Youth Day with Pope Francis, Panama, January 2019. The $20,000 will help finance part of the event. The majority of the youth come from poor families.
You can find more information about the event on the webpage, http://emji2019.org/. Although the website is in Spanish, you will be able to access the photographs of the preparations. Those of you who read Spanish can translate for your family and friends the story of this important event in the life of the Church. In his application to the VSO, Fr. Joe wrote that he expects nearly 2,000 youth and volunteers at St. Vincent’s Parish, Soloy, Panama.
In this Easter Season, we read in the Acts of the Apostles about the growth of the early Church (Acts 2:41). The Holy Spirit inspired the disciples, both men and women, to witness to the Risen Lord. These first missionaries were encouraged to go out even to the ends of the world. At that time in history, the ends of the world meant the Roman Empire with its extensive boarders. Today, missionaries, like Fr. Joe Fitzgerald, are putting into practice the transformative vision of the Gospel found in those readings. People like the Ngäbe of Panama and others live on the fringes of society. They suffer because of poverty, discrimination, and political indifference by government. In response, the Vincentian ministry of Fr. Joe preserves the indigenous culture and enriches it with the preaching of the Gospel. Such ministry raises up the youth and their people. The Vincentian Solidarity Office is therefore proud to support Fr. Joe Fitzgerald and the World Indigenous Youth Day, Panama 2019.
Please remember the Vincentian Solidarity Office and the projects of our Vincentian missionaries in your prayers. Let others know about the VSO so that that they, too, can share our mission of building up the Church by spreading the Gospel and serving the poor.
Adveniat is a Catholic funding organization located in Essen, Germany. Its goal is to assist the Church of Latin America.
by Greg Semeniuk, C.M.
VINCENTIAN SOLIDARITY OFFICE
500 East Chelten Avenue Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania 19144 United States of America