JOURNEY WITH ACN is our weekly newsletter regularly posted to our blog and designed to acquaint you with the needs of the Catholic Church around the world – and various projects we have helped to bring into being together with ACN benefactors.
This week : Philippines
Help to protect their convent from termites, fire and thieves
A renovation project: the Benedictine’s convent in Digos, Davao
On the island of Mindanao, set amidst the hilly landscape of the Davao region, lies the convent of the Benedictine Sisters of the Eucharistic King. It is dedicated to Our Lady Queen of Peace and has many visitors coming to take part in retreats and days of prayer. The guesthouse is in need of renovation, and the Sisters want to repair it and also protect it against break-ins, fire and termite damage.
There are currently 31 professed Sisters and four novices living in the convent. As contemplatives, they spend most of their time in prayer. Their presence is a precious blessing for their entourage, for the Sisters also visits the poor and elderly who nobody else cares for. They share their food every day with the poorest families. They have also helped other Benedictine convents around the world by sending their Sisters where they might be of service.
The oldest building in the convent complex was built in 1984. It houses, among other things: the dormitory of the novices, the candle-making and sewing workshops and the storerooms. The entire facade of the upper floor is made of wood and very vulnerable to fire. Sister Maria Columba Salinas tells us how fire actually did break out in the candle making workshop recently, but fortunately they were able to extinguish it. However, this incident was something of a wake-up call for the Superior who had already been aware for some considerable time that the building needed to be made safer. Three break-ins have already taken place; the thieves were able to gain access through the windows very easily.
Another serious problem with the buildings is termites which are steadily eating away at the timbers. “The coconut tree wood was treated with old second-hand oil to protect it against the termites, but in the last 30 years they have already done a great deal of damage,” the Superior adds in her letter asking our help to renovate the convent buildings.
In order to keep costs as low as possible, the building will be renovated in three separate stages. ACN is offering to help with $28,000 CAN.
Will you help us to help them?