10% of gifts given in this fundraiser will go to the new outreach program that is starting in the parish.
The parish - San José de los Manduriacos (St. Joseph of the Manduriacu) - is new as of 5 years ago. Previously, the twelve villages - including Chontal - that form it were part of a larger parish, García Moreno, which still exists. So the task of the church has been to continue ministry to people in the villages, while also developing some new local structures and sense of identity as a parish. This is the first time the priest has been overseeing such a process, and so it’s been a learning process. But one aspect that has come up the last time I was there was the beginning of an outreach ministry in the parish, extending to all the villages. So, 10% of the gifts given to get me to Ecuador, I’ll use to bolster that particular ministry.
There are a huge amount of needs there, but most important is the need for communion and community, for love and relationships. A significant part of the ministry is developing a sense of unity in extending a hand to the poorest and the most vulnerable among the community. The program is centered on people in the most difficult situations, and is meant to be a communal response: the community at the service of its most vulnerable members. Of particular need are seniors and people who are having acute experiences of poverty.
I had discussion about initial planning for this ministry before I left back in January, and this will be a priority to me when I return - so please consider sharing if you can!
Did you know that it costs $60,000 to fund one priest in a parish in Boston for a year? All I’m asking this year is $1,550 from friends and people of good will who want to send me over the wall for six months!
Veronica visiting seniors as part of a government outreach program that lost funding a few years ago. There’s a large need for services to seniors.