Saturday, 17 November 2012

Missionary Travels 6,300 Miles to Say 'Thank You'

Fr Jack greetings parishioners in Haywards Heath
A Very Special visitor travelled 6,300 miles to St Paul’s Parish, Haywards Heath on Sunday 2nd September to say ‘thank you’ for the support given to the missions. It was Father Jack Davies from Chimbote in Peru. In 1975 parishioners started a campaign to provide life saving water to a community in Tanzania. Since then several overseas projects have received aid, one being the opening of Father Jack’s first hospice in Peru.

Father Jack spoke at both of morning Masses and told the packed congregation of his first visit to Peru as a young Priest and his subsequent 37 year commitment to the people of that country. An impromptu second collection, kindly permitted by parish priest Father Martin, raised over £600 for his mission. These funds will help with the programmes in Chimbote, which started out with soup kitchens to feed those starving in the streets. To this day they continue to feed children, allowing them to focus on their studies with a view to a better future.

His programme now also runs libraries with tutors offering these children a place to study and an opportunity to break the cycle of malnourishment, lack of education and poverty. Father Jack’s mission in Peru embodies all the objectives St Paul’s Hunger Campaign was set up to achieve. It is dedicated to supporting small local initiatives, not generally backed by the major charitable organisations. Firstly, it aims to feed, but then to encourage independence through assistance with wells, pumps and a basic infrastructure leading to self-sufficiency. Personal contact is maintained with each of Hunger Campaign’s projects and the group receives regular reports on the progress of their work.

Father Jack’s visit to thank parishioners for their loyal support over the years made many present realise the value of the assistance the Hunger Campaign is able to offer through small monthly contributions. A donation of £5 per month is all that is needed to give life-saving support.

For anyone in the Diocese interested in knowing more about St Paul’s Parish Hunger Campaign, please contact the parish office on: stpaulshh@dabnet.org

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