Thy Kingdom Come!
Mexico City, June 2020
Dear Friends, peace,
My last letter was written on Ash Wednesday. Who could have imagined what an ordeal we would go through between then and now! Very few people were left unaffected, certainly no-one I work with it. I hope you weathered the storm in a productive way!
I have been confined to the office, doing what I can to encourage the Schools in Africa with letters and phone calls. My main work has been in Mexico, organizing relief for the poor who were told to stay home indefinitely by politicians who – shockingly but clearly – don’t care if they starve. I am amazed at the harshness of that sentence, but I can’t think of a better way to express it!
Among the poor here in Mexico are priests and religious sisters in poorer parishes. In most Mexican dioceses, the priests do not receive a salary from the diocese and have to fend for themselves. When the dioceses ordered the churches closed (and they are still closed, indefinitely, as I write this), their income was cut off. Also many religious sisters live from the sales of cookies or crafts that they sell at the entrances of churches on Sunday. We have literally been delivering rice and beans to convents for the past two months!
In order to find a long-term solution to this, at CANELA we have begun a “Committee for the welfare of priests.” I have gotten a group of volunteers together who will look for priests in need, and try to guarantee a fixed income for them of ten dollars a day, rain or shine, as the need persists. Not just the “corona” need, but the general poverty. I hope we will be able to help a growing number of priests whose communities and bishops cannot support them. Please consider becoming a sponsor of this new project, even sponsoring just one day. I have had a great response to this from my Mexican parishioners. Many people, even practicing Catholics, do not realize that there are so many priests with absolutely no secure income. It is something horrible: some priests end up living in squalor, others running after money in a shameful way. In Latin America and Africa, ten “sure” dollars a day is a complete game changer.
Please remember this initiative, and myself, in your prayers. I am praying for you, your family and your intentions!
P.S. Since I have been “grounded,” the picture report is ONLY Mexico food relief this time.