This Lent, we will be supporting the parish of SS Peter and Paul, Oyede, in the Delta State, Nigeria, to purchase a new boat.
Oyede is a rural community of around ten thousand inhabitants, made up of eight farm stations. SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church is in the centre of the town.
The majority of parishioners are farmers who must travel several kilometres each day, often crossing rivers, to reach their farms. Sadly, flooding during the rainy season has become more common. Many houses and farms became submerged last September and October, and affected parishioners came to the church for shelter until they were able to return to their homes.
Father Emeka Akabueze, Parish Priest of SS Peter and Paul, has asked for our support to purchase a boat for the parish, which he and his team will use to reach the parish farm stations:
At the moment, we rely on boat transporters to reach the farm stations. Sometimes, they are not available and we cannot go to administer the sacraments to the farm stations. If we purchase a water boat, which will belong to the catholic community, it will be a big help to us and will enable us reach our sisters and brothers in the farm stations.
Please give generously to our Lenten appeal, so that we may support Father Emeka and the community of Oyede.
The evening will begin with music from the band Ooberfule, including songs dedicated to the martyred Pakistani Catholic Shahbaz Bhatti, freedom for Burma, and World Youth Day.
At 8pm Lord Alton will speak on political engagement, the place of conscience, religious liberty and the right to Life, in Britain and around the world, including in countries such as North Korea, Burma, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as here at home.
For 18 years David Alton was a Member of the House of Commons and today is an independent Cross-bencher Life Peer. In 1972 he was elected as Britain’s youngest City Councillor, in Liverpool, the youngest member of the House of Commons in 1979, and in 1997 was made a Life Peer of the House of Lords.
Ooberfuse is a Catholic band which performed the official English language song for World Youth Day 2013, and has performed around the world, including Rome & Rio de Janeiro, as well as across the UK.
The evening is in aid of two Christian organisations working for religious freedom around the world:
Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), a Catholic charity supporting churches facing persecution,
Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), an ecumenical advocacy organisation
documenting and reporting injustice and persecution and promoting religious freedom for all.
Pope Francis, in Evangelii Gaudium, calls us to a special care for the poor.
As a hall-mark of this pontificate, the Poor are already a planned feature of our
Year of Renewal, and our Parish has a dozen current projects for the poor and needy:
6 months rental for a homeless Parishioner; Clothes for babies saved from abortion:
Pre-Advent (& pre-Lent) Charity Fayres; Concert & Collection for Filipino typhoon victim;
Part-funding abuse victim parishioners for the Grief to Grace programme; SVP outreach
Christmas gifts for needy children; Ecumenical Winter Homeless Night Shelter;
the local Food Bank; Street Pastors; our on-going ACN and other overseas projects, etc.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide ask us that we pray for Syria, especially for the safety of two kidnapped ArchbishopsCivil war has engulfed Syria for over two years, leaving more than 100,000 dead, over four million internally displaced, and causing a mass exodus of two million to other countries.Christians can be found on both sides of the civil war, but regardless of their allegiances, they have found themselves being targeted increasingly by Sunni jihadi groups, both from within Syria and abroad.
In April, Archbishop Boulos (Paul) Yazigi of the Greek Orthodox Church and Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim of the Syriac Orthodox Church were abducted by gunmen, who murdered their driver, who was also a priest. Recently, it was claimed by the Syrian Grand Mufti that the Archbishops were alive in Turkey. However, the Turkish Government has denied this; consequently their whereabouts remain unknown.In July, a Catholic priest was executed by Islamist forces and in August, rebel gunmen killed 11 Christians in a drive-by shooting as they celebrated a feast day.More recently, reports are emerging of 30 dead bodies being found in mass graves in the Christian city of Sadaad after forces from jihadist group al-Nusra invaded the town in October. The victims included the elderly, disabled, women and children who could not escape as these forces arrived. Many were tortured. In addition, the remains of six members of the same family, including a 90-year-old grandmother, were reportedly found in a well. The Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan of Homs and Hama, Boutros Alnemeh, has described this incident as the “most serious and biggest massacre of Christians” since the conflict began in March 2011. Please join us in prayer:
Pray that the two Syrian Archbishops kidnapped in April will be found alive and well.
Pray for an end to the civil war, the restoration of peace, and the healing of the nation;
Pray for wisdom and strategy for the international community as it responds to the humanitarian and security crisis caused by the war;
Ask God to comfort and strengthen Christians and other religious or ethnic minorities who remain in Syria;
Pray for the safety of those abducted and kidnapped, and for their families;
Pray for safety and for adequate and timely humanitarian assistance for IDPs and refugees;
Pray for the various warring factions, that they would reject sectarianism and embrace reconciliation;
Pray for the families and friends of those killed in the city of Sadaad, that they would be comforted;
Thank you for your continued support and prayers The CSW team
0845 456 5464 firstname.lastname@example.org