Monday, July 23, 2012

Mpaji ni Mungu!

God is the sustainer!

Bishop Steven Dami Mamza
Diocese of Yola, Nigeria

This past Sunday my wife and I went to Mass as usual at our new parish, Maria Imacolata. Our Mass was con-cellebrated by Fr. Stuart King and Bishop Steven Dami Mamza of the Diocese of Yola, Nigeria (hence the swahili/bantu greeting.) Bishop Mamza is one of the youngest Bishops in the world at about 42 years of age.

The Church that he shephards is in a remote part of Africa in Nigeria. He and his flock are constantly under persecution for their belief in God and their adherence to the Catholic Church. Bishop Steven has to have 24 hour a day police protection at both his residence and wherever he travels within his diocese because members of terrorist organisations want his work stopped. It is not uncommon for suicide bombers to attack worshipers at his churches during Sunday Mass, killing innocent people enganging in worship of their God and destroying temples given to the Glory of God. Yet He and his people are very devout and they trust in God with their whole being. Of the Dioceses 200,000 faithful the Bishop states that 99.9% attend Mass faithfully every Sunday. that's 199,800 of the 200,000 people filling churches every Sunday!

Bishop Steven was at our church to make an appeal to us. He recently started a school for the children, especially those who are without their parents because of war or the aids epidemic. The school currently stands at full capacity with no room to house more students. When a student is granted attendence the Bishop is resposible for providing them with not only education but also room and board. This is the only way to keep these children out of the streets, to stop them from being forced into joining terrorist/jihadist organizations like the famed boko haram (which literally means "western education is sinful.)Each of these students cost the Bishop and his diocese $500 a year to educate and board.

He also has a very good problem. Every year his diocese gets about 100 applications from young men aspiring to enter the Holy Priesthood of Jesus Christ. However, because of financial problems the diocese can only provide for ten seminarians at a time. The cost of each seminarians education is $2,000 a year. That means 90 men that the church desperatly needs both in his diocese and the world over have to be turned down.

 The people of his Diocese need our help. Here's how you can help the Church, our brothers and sisters in need. Pray. Pray for the people being attacked for living their faith in Christ. Pray for the children that lost their parents because of Aids. Pray that schools are built, meals are served, people are clothed, and shelter is made. Pray that the seminarians recieve proper training so they can minister to the people of God. Pray for conversion of heart for the terrorist that claim innocent lives. Give. Contact your local Propagation of the Faith office in your diocese or contact the national office by clicking here. and ask how you can assist Bishop Steven and the Diocese of Yola, Nigeria. Ask your priest to invite Bishop Steven to celebrate Mass in your parish, or to make an appeal on the Bishop's behalf. You can sponsor a child to go to school and be fed for about $40 a month. You can make a one-time donation to assist in the ministry of our Church most in need.

The Church is in need and God is the sustainer!


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