By ACN International
Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, ACN Canada
The Republic of Moldova has just one Catholic diocese situated in its capital, Chisinau. Catholics make up only a tiny minority of a little over 0.4 % and widely scattered within the total population.
In the capital Chisinau itself, a city populated by 700,000 souls, there are only two Catholic parishes. The parish of Divine Providence is under the care of Father Mihai Balan. Every month he three other priests with whom he shares his car travel around 700 miles (over 1100 km) in service of their pastoral ministry.
The now battered old Skoda Fabia, which the parish has been using for eight years, already had a full 10 years of use under its belt. In fact, given the terrible road conditions in the country, it is a miracle it has even lasted this long! The time came when it needed to be repaired frequently and it began consuming a great deal of money to maintain. As the car was becoming less than economic to repair, and a danger to drive, Father Balan turned to ACN asking for help to buy a new car that would be less problematic, for he and the other three priests need a vehicle to travel through the town of Chisinau, and to reach the other three smaller towns in which new blossoming parishes have been established, but without priests of their own.
The good fathers wish to visit the sick and bring them Holy Communion, bless people’s homes and organize children’s activities and youth groups. Readily available transportation is indispensable for the social work they are doing in their parishes.
Thanks to the generosity of our benefactors, ACN was able to provide $8,000 for the purchase of a new car and ensured the life of this parish community by providing an adequate and safe means of transportation.
Tomorrow: Belarus – Aid to the Church in Need hopes to help with the construction of a convent complete with a pastoral center. The cost will be $34,000 given that the local resources are already insufficient to support the parishes many activities, or the life of the monastic brothers it houses.