JOURNEY WITH ACN is our Friday newsletter which will be regularly posted to our blog. This weekly newsletter will an opportunity for us to acquaint you with the needs of the Church and the projects we have realized together in countries around the world.
A church for the new parish of La Fonseca
By ACN International
The community of Nueva Guinea in the south of Nicaragua was established in the 1960s for resettled peasant farmers. Today it has a population of 140,000 people, drawn from many different regions of the country.
Originally only Baptists and other Protestants were intended to live here and in fact, every attempt was made to prevent Catholic families from settling. Catholics were also discriminated against when it came to the distribution of land. Today, there are at least 70 different Protestant ecclesial communities in Nueva Guinea, but the Catholic Church has also established herself here.
The unemployment rate is high and the children are often forced to work to help their family make ends meet, so the Church is helping many people in this town where youth crime is also on the rise. The Church opposes violence, helps women and children, working in the schools and endeavouring to counter the evil influences that are promoted by the mass media and spreading ever more widely within society.
At the very heart of all these activities, however, is the celebration of the Eucharist, emphasizes the parish priest, Father Mariano Martinez. His parish community makes a particular effort to prepare for religious feasts and liturgical celebrations, and great emphasis is also placed on Eucharistic adoration and on catechesis.
Catholic life is flourishing, and the young Catholic community of Nueva Guinea has already produced five religious vocations – three nuns and two priests. In addition, two young local men are preparing for ordination and another two have just entered the seminary.
The parish has in fact grown far too big now and has been divided. The newly created parish of La Fonseca now comprises 41 rural communities and almost 2,500 Catholic families with 165 catechists active within the parish, while 300 children and 450 young people are involved in various different parish groups.
Now the time has come to build a church for this new parish; it will be dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe. ACN is planning to support the construction of this church with a contribution of $44,000.