We have a dire emergency in one of the most dangerous and violent places in the world and desperately need your help for our Pallottine missionaries who are serving there.
Father John Ndidi, a Pallottine priest, begs for our help for the Pallottine mission in the Cameroon-Nigerian Region in Africa. “One of the major problems facing our mission is the evil and terror of the Boko Haram Insurgency,” says Father John. “The situations in these two countries are directly and indirectly affecting our mission. The situation is so awful, I lack words to express it.”.
Following are excerpts from a letter I recently received from Father John. Ordained five years ago, Father John is our first native Nigerian priest.
“The Cameroon Diocese, located at the Nigerian border, is being terrorized by Boko Haram. The displaced families are faced with fear, terror and hardship. They are taking refuge in the mission. The Diocese, which is one of the poorest in the region, is struggling to keep up with the desperate needs of the refugees.
“In Nigeria, the Pallottines have two communities in the Southeast. One is at Awka, where we have the Postulant house, and the other is at Owerri, where we have seminarians doing their studies at the seminary. Boko Haram has infiltrated north of these areas and hundreds of people are fleeing their villages. Frequent explosions claim many lives. Massive migrations of people who have moved from the north to the east to Anambra, where the Pallottines have a presence, have lost everything, including family members, to the violence.
“The refugees come to us for help. We have provided a small shelter and give food daily. We also contributed to the local schools and the mission school to offer children from poor families a basic education. Additionally, we help three parishes in the Diocese of Awka (where we are) to build and furnish youth centers to aid children.
“Since the insurgency started, the Cameroon and Nigerian border is closed. Our seminarians who are studying in Cameroon always risk their lives going back to the seminary. An effort is being made to provide housing and studies for them in Nigeria so they don’t have to cross the border. Right now, 15 seminarians are living in a small, over-crowded apartment with very little furniture or equipment. Our goal is to raise funds to buy a small piece of land and build a community for these courageous seminarians or rent a better apartment for them until we have the resources to build a community.
“At our community in Awka, near the Postulant house, we are building a Retreat Center and a Divine Mercy Shrine to help people with their spiritual needs. The land was donated. We also operate a small farm on this land which helps with feeding people. We would like to establish a school on additional donated land, but we don’t have the funds to do anything.”
My dear friends, as you can see Father John needs immediate funds to help with the desperate needs of the refugees. He also seeks donations to help house our Pallottine seminarians and to expand his ministry in this region of great need.
Will you please send your most generous gift today to help Father John? Your gift will be used to provide emergency shelter, food, clothing and other essentials for the displaced people, as well as to provide help where the need is greatest.
When you send your gift, be sure to include your special intentions. Our priests and brothers will place your intentions in the hands of St. Jude and make sure they are remembered in our prayers and Masses at the Shrine.
Pope Francis asks us to nourish hope in the hearts of refugees. I ask you now to help Father John and our priests, brothers and seminarians bring sustenance and the hope of Jesus Christ to the many impoverished, displaced families in our Pallottine missions in the Cameroon-Nigerian region.
My prayer is that you will be filled with hope and that the Lord will bless you abundantly.
Wishing you the hope of St. Jude,
Fr. Peter Sticco, S.A.C.
P.S. Your gift today helps support all of our ministries, particularly our St. Jude Shrine and the poor we serve around the world. Please be as generous as possible and be sure to send your prayer requests so they can be remembered in the prayers and novenas at our Shrine and on the tomb of St. Jude in the Vatican.