Press Release – New ACN Website

MCL National Director

Praying, Informing and Giving

By Robert Lalonde, ACN Canada

Montreal, Friday February 2015 – “ Concerned with better serving our generous benefactors, of providing better communications tools to the public and engaged with encouraging people to PRAY, INFORM and GIVE to help poor and persecuted Christians in the world, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) Canada is proud to present its new website which will be operational as of this coming Monday, March 2nd,” declared with enthusiasm Marie-Claude Lalonde, the National Director of ACN Canada.

“More than ever before,” continued the director,” the situation of Christians in too many countries merits recognition on a large scale.  We hope that the news stories we disseminate through our website will touch our visitors’ hearts, and persuade them to help their so often forgotten brothers and sisters.”

The site which can be visited at is abundantly illustrated with striking pictures, poignant firsthand accounts and content also often exclusive to Aid to the Church in Need.

ACN which is today an international organization numbering over 600,000 friends and benefactors who support each and every year close to 5,000 projects in over 150 countries.  Now operating as a foundation of pontifical right, ACN and its benefactors offer concrete help, through a spirit of love, everywhere where the Church needs them.



ACN pledges its solidarity with the Syrian people

To make a donation to ACN for refugees

To make a donation by please call: (514) 932-0552 or toll free 1-(800) 585-6333
or click the image to make a secure on-line donation.

This is but a beginning for a situation where the needs are immense. 

In response to the catastrophic situation hat has befallen millions of people in Syria following 4 years of war, the international Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has pledged millions in emergency aid to  fund a number of projects and to support those in Aleppo, Homs, Damascus and other cities who have been hard hit by the war, explained Father Andrzej Halemba, head of the Middle East section of Aid to the Church in NeedThis is but a beginning for a situation where the needs are immense. 


Since the outbreak of violence in Syria in March of 2011, the situation of the country’s Christians in particular has deteriorated dramatically: hundreds have been killed and tens of thousands have been driven away. Families have lost members, and yes, their entire means of existence. Children and adolescents have been barred from attending school for months, sometimes years at a time. In addition to meeting the most immediate needs, the emergency aid seeks to offer Christians in Syria as well as the entire Middle East new prospects for the future. 


SYRIA / NATIONAL 15/00138 Emergency help for 1200 families from

12.2 million affected

Father Andrzej Halemba said, “We are especially worried about the Christians in Aleppo and Damascus, but also the refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. Fear is ever present. It is intense, almost palpable, especially since the new so-called Islamic State was proclaimed. Bishop Audo of Aleppo told me, “Aleppo’s Christians are afraid that what happened in Mosul will also happen to them. This is a new, and unfortunately justified, fear of genocide and ethnic cleansing. The Islamic State openly shows its murderous intentions against anyone who does not bend to its brand of extremism. They are proud of their cruelty against ‘unbelievers’ and blatantly fall back on the sword.”

According to Father Halemba, another reason the situation of the Syrian people has become so desperate is because the interest of the international community has noticeably waned and this despite the fact that the European Union has calculated that 12.2 million people are affected by the war in Syria. This brings the number of internally displaced persons to 7.8 million and the number of Syrians living in barely accessible parts of the country or war zones to 4.8 million.

SYRIA / NATIONAL 14/00124Emergency help for the needed families

It is estimated that 5.6 million children are directly affected by the war; the number of those who are no longer able to attend school lies at 3 million.

The aid money donated by Aid to the Church in Need has benefited thousands of families living in war-torn regions. The money is being used to provide basic foodstuffs, medicine, and emergency medical care, along with rent for housing as well as heating and electricity. The funds have also been allocated for the pastoral and charitable endeavours of Christians in Syria who are working in various communities to help their fellow Syrians obtain housing and care. For example, for Sisters in Al-Hasakah (Hassaké) in the north-eastern part of Syria by the Turkish border who are providing emergency medical care and distributing relief goods. Or for priests in Aleppo and Damascus who are helping supply the victims of the war with material and pastoral care.


Over the next few days on ACN’s blog – – you will have be able to read stories which, along with describing the situation as it is lived by Christians in Syria, will also give you access to poignant testimonials from religious workers on site, as well as other people living this unspeakable tragedy. These stories show how imperative it is to show our solidarity, here and now, with our suffering brothers and sisters in the Church.

Job Offer: Head of Fundraising and Publicity


Aid to the Church in Need, a catholic charity aimed at supporting the poor and persecuted Church around the world, is looking for an individual to fill the following position:

Head of Fundraising and Publicity

Under the authority of the National Director, the incumbent will be called upon to work in close collaboration with the heads of French and English media, in order to maximize fundraising and ensure the visibility of the organization. 

Summary of Tasks:

  • Responsible for reserving space for publicity as well as the creation of publicity in newspapers, magazines and on the web, television and radio;
  • Create and coordinate the annual campaign for planned donations;
  • Coordination of the newsletter (Mirror) – and all information pertaining to it– mailed 8 times per year;
  • Coordination of the campaign for the distribution of promotional items;
  • Creation and coordination of punctual fundraising campaigns;
  • Responsible for the acknowledgements of major benefactors;
  • Responsible for punctual campaigns via social-media;
  • Responsible for finding new benefactors;
  • Analysis of the results of various fundraising activities;
  • Organization of events to make the organization known.



  • Studies in philanthropy/fundraising
  • Pertinent work experience
  • Excellent mastery of technology and tools such as: Word, Excel and Windows environment blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Google +) Bilingualism is essential (French / English)
  • A good sense of organization
  • Knowledge of The Raiser’s Edge (TRE) database by Blackbaud is an asset


Conditions of Employment:

Schedule:        37.5 hours/per week

Salary:          According to experience



Aide à l'Église en Détresse 514.932.0552

Aid to the Church in Need



Please send your CV to the attention of Maria prior to February 17, 2015

By Fax:  (514) 932-4734

By E-mail:


Journey with ACN – Argentina

© Aid to the Church in Need

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:   Argentina

Support for 91 religious Sisters in Añatuya

Aid to the Church in Need has been helping the diocese of Añatuya for many years now. Covering an area the size of Ireland, this diocese has approximately 120,000 inhabitants, 85% of whom are Catholic. It is an extremely arid and unproductive region and the absence of infrastructure makes it difficult, if not, impossible, to get around quickly. As a result, for the 33 priests working in the dioceses, the help of the more than 100 religious Sisters and lay pastoral workers is of a priceless value.

Bishop Adolfo, the bishop of Añatuya, has written to ACN for support. His is one of the poorest dioceses in Argentina, where the average salary is just 300 pesos (around $75) a month – the Sisters and catechists do not earn much more than this. “They get less than $75 a month, and from this they must pay their board, lodging and transportation costs,” explains Bishop Adolfo. They also share in the same kind of living conditions as everyone else. “We have no electric power. When it rains, the roads are impassable and we cannot even transport medicines or food,” reads a letter from three Dominican Sisters, who run a parish some 60 km (38 miles) from Añatuya.

The priest can only visit once a month; the rest of the time, the Sisters are the ones available for the Catholic faithful. Those who do have work here consider themselves lucky – despite the meagre salary – for the unemployment rate in Añatuya is around 65%.

©Aid to the Church in Need

©Aid to the Church in Need

Many of the local people live in simple mud huts with roofs of branches and grass. The general lack of hygiene and good order leads to all kinds of ailments, including outbreaks of tuberculosis and gastro-intestinal disorders, as well as syphilis. Many children suffer from malnutrition, and there is a lack of doctors, therefore the people are all the more happy to have Sister Asunción, a trained nurse, present among them. This Dominican Sister works in a health centre and “does everything” as her fellow religious testify. “The patients come from miles away, since they have more confidence in her than in the doctors,” they tell us.

Water is a veritable blessing in Añatuya where it normally rains for only four months of the year and where the soil is full of saltpetre and contaminated with arsenic. The only water is supplied by a very salty river – appropriately named – Rio Salado (or “Salty River”). This river also poses a very real threat during the rainy season to all the surrounding villages, when the roads and entire villages are inundated. “We had 24 evacuees living in our convent for almost 3 weeks,” recalls Sister Loucia, the superior of her community of six “Jesús Verbo y Víctima”.  At the time, the Sisters were completely cut off from their surroundings and forced to suspend their pastoral work.  Nevertheless, they continued to visit everyone they could reach, and prayed with them – a help which was of “great consolation” for all the people concerned.


To make a donation to ACN for refugees

To make a donation by please call: (514) 932-0552 or toll free 1-(800) 585-6333
or click the image to make a secure on-line donation.


Aid to the Church in Need wants to help support the life and apostolate of the 91 religious sisters in the diocese, with a total of $51,000.


Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – Day 8

Day 8: Witness

Prayer : God, spring of living water, make of us witnesses of unity through both our words and our lives. Help us to understand that we are not the owners of the well, and give us the wisdom to welcome the same grace in one another. Transform our hearts and our lives, so that we might be genuine bearers of the Good News. And lead us always to the encounter with the other, as an encounter with you. We ask this in the name of your Son Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

© Aid to the Church in Need

© Aid to the Church in Need


Commentary (John 4:39): With her heart transformed, the Samaritan woman goes out in mission, announces to her people that she has found the Messiah. The force of her witness stems from the transformation of her life caused by her encounter with Jesus. Every Christian is called to announce the name of the Lord. Mission is not proselytism. Those who truly announce Jesus approach others in loving dialogue, open to mutual learning, and respecting difference. Our mission must be a work both of word and witness. The witness of the Samaritan woman led her community to believe in Jesus because her brothers and sisters saw coherence between her words and her own transformation. If our word and witness are authentic, the world will hear and believe.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – Day 7

Day 7: Testimony

Prayer : (Adapted from a prayer from an ecumenical conference in Brazil, calling for an end to poverty as the first step on the path to peace through justice) – God of life, who cares for all creation, and calls us to justice and peace, may our security not come from arms, but from respect. May our force not be of violence, but of love. May our wealth not be in money, but in sharing. May our path not be of ambition, but of justice. May our victory not be from vengeance, but in forgiveness. May our unity not be in the quest of power, but in vulnerable witness to do your will. Open and confident, may we defend the dignity of all creation, sharing, today and forever, the bread of solidarity, justice and peace. This we ask in the name of Jesus, your holy Son, our brother, who, as victim of our violence, even from the heights of the cross, gave forgiveness to us all. Amen.

© Aid to the Church in Need World Youth Day Madrid 2011.

© Aid to the Church in Need
World Youth Day Madrid 2011.



Commentary (John 4:7): Encountering and exchanging experiences with the other, even other religious traditions, can help us to reach into the depths of the well. Approaching those who are strangers to us with the desire to drink from their well, opens to us the “wonders of God” that we proclaim. God often meets our needs through others. As we call upon the Lord in our need, perhaps the Lord has already answered our prayers by putting into the hands of our neighbours that for which we ask. And so we need to turn also to them, and ask, “Give me to drink.”


Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – Day 6

Day 6: Testimony

Prayer : Triune God, following the example of Jesus, make us witnesses to your love. Grant us to become instruments of justice, peace and solidarity. May your Spirit move us towards concrete actions that lead to unity.  May walls be transformed into bridges. This we pray in the name of Jesus Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


© Aid to the Church in Need

© Aid to the Church in Need


Commentary (John 4:14): The dialogue that begins with Jesus asking for water becomes a dialogue in which Jesus promises water. When we are baptised we receive this water, this life from Jesus and it wells up within us to be given and shared with others. The water of baptism springing into life becomes an ecumenical witness of Christian love in action, a foretaste of the eternal life which Jesus promises. The concrete gestures of love and generosity practiced by ordinary people are what we need in order to grow in fellowship. They give witness to the Gospel and relevance to ecumenical relations.