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 www.acn-aed-ca.org 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.

 

PRESS RELEASE – Syria

Growing fears for the safety of Syrians

By John Newton, ACN United Kingdom

Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, ACN Canada 

Iraq, June 2010Father Emanuel Youkhana in his officePhoto: CAACN, Montreal – Wednesday, February 25, 2015 – Fears are growing for the safety of more than 100 people taken captive yesterday (Tuesday, February 24) as the extremist group Islamic State (IS) seized Christian villages in Hassake governorate, north-east Syria.

Archimandrite Emanuel Youkhana, who works in support of persecuted Christians in the region, received a telephone update on the situation from a contact in Hassake city around midnight last night and relayed the latest information in a message sent to Catholic agencies, including Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), early this morning.

He wrote: “The 24 families from Tel Gouran, 34 families from Tel Jazira, and 14 fighters (12 male and 2 females) from Tel Hormizd are captured and taken to the Arab Sunni village of Um Al-Masamier.” Up to now, the number of people making up the abducted families, has not been confirmed.

“They are alive so far, but the men are separated from women and children.”

An urgent need of action

Commenting on how some local Sunni Arabs had assisted IS, he said: “Um Al-Masamier is another Syrian example of what we witnessed in Iraq on how the Arab Sunni joining and supporting IS to attack their long years Christian and Yezedian neighbours.”

Archimandrite Youkhana went on to describe the latest situation in the various villages: “The 50+ families in Tel Shamiran are still surrounded. It is unclear if IS will attack the village? Can PYD [Democratic Union Kurdish Party] fighters change the situation before the village been taken by IS?”

He reported that in Tel Tamar a car bomb exploded, but no casualties were reported. Three mortar shells were fired into Tel Nasri from the other side of Khabour River. Again no casualties were reported.

PYD fighters have retaken Toma Yelda hill, which is of strategic importance. Archimandrite Youkhana wrote: “By now, only around 200 families are still in Khabour region, more than 100 [are] in Tel Tamar and others [are] in different villages not controlled by IS. Around 1,000 families from Khabour are displaced in Hassake and Qamishli.“

“His Grace Bishop Mar Aprem Athniel [of the Assyrian Church of the East] who resides in Hassake and hasn’t left it despite all difficulties, is doing his best to host and support the displaced. However, due to the lack of resources and the long years of the disaster, there is an urgent need of action to support the displaced families through the Church.“

Archimandrite Youkhana added: “Our thoughts are with the suffering people. We pray for an end to this long history of persecution in our countries.”

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

 

 

 

 

International Prayer for Nigeria – Day 8 – Final Day

PRAYER FOR PEACE IN NIGERIA

 

God the Father our creator, God the Son our Redeemer, God the Holy Spirit our Sanctifier!

We praise and thank you  for the precious gift of Nigeria, which was and still remains a cosmopolitan, multi- cultural, multi- ethnic as well as multi-religious society. Your gift of tolerance, moderation, accommodation and Love for one another were the traits that made great this people and this society.

Sadly though, in recent times, they have been plagued by political, ethnic and religious crises and have suffered the destruction of lives and property. We humbly ask for the gift of reconciliation, that we forgive each other. Heal the wounds with the radiance of your love and mercy.  Teach us to live in peace and harmony.

May their leaders be instruments of love, peace, tolerance, social and economic development. Help them to be selfless in service and to lead their people in the path of dialogue and reconciliation, so that they can truly be one family, working for the common good. May dissenting views be a source of harmony and peaceful coexistence! Bless and provide for their youth and help them to be peace loving.

Distribution of relief materials to Internally Displaced Persons

 

Lord may the weapons of evil, hatred and violence be silenced by love. May we enjoy unity and stability as your children who live, move and have our being in you.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

O Jesus prince of peace: be merciful, restore permanent peace to the world and, these days especially, to Nigeria, from north to south.

Our Lady Queen of Peace: Obtain for us peace in our hearts, peace in our families, peace in our countries.

Amen

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.

Journey with ACN – Russia

© 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:   Russia

Extension built for an addiction rehabilitation centre

 It all began with a few individual cases. One after another, young people with drug problems came to speak to Father Sergij Belkov in the confessional. The addiction was nothing new for a former police detective. But now, as an Orthodox priest, it was also clear to him that it was not, first and foremost, a medical or a sociological problem but above all, a sickness of the soul.

Most people very quickly come to realize that the path of drug abuse is a false one. It is like “living in the grave,” one person tells him; feeling “no longer human,” says another. Both descriptions reflect one and the same phenomenon. The way out of the vicious spiral of drug addiction has to begin with this recognition, and with the will for conversion.

Since 1996, Father Sergij has been running a drug addiction rehabilitation centre in Sapjornoje, around 65 miles (100 km) from Saint Petersburg, in the almost untouched natural environment of the Finnish-Karelian frontier. He takes each of these young men in, like the father taking in his prodigal son. Some of the members of his parish are also strongly supporting him in his work.

One woman who helps him describes how she is astonished time and again by the transformation that takes place in these young men, aged between 18 and 28.

ACN-20131125-02925

Learning to be part of a family

“In the first few days they are always aggressive and surly and do not even look you in the face. But very soon a real “transfiguration” takes place from within – with God’s help and through the love and family warmth that is radiated by Father Sergij, his matushka and all the helpers and residents of the centre.” Structurally, the centre is set-up like a normal, healthy family, with Father Sergij as the loving, but strict head of the family and his wife as mother and example. The more senior residents represent the older brothers and sisters, who help to train and educate the junior members.

A new member to the family is only introduced once per month so as not to upset the equilibrium. Life in the centre is marked by prayer and work, obedience and observance of the Orthodox Church fasts – and it is no coincidence that it is ordered very much along the lines of the monastic life.

Right from the start each person has his particular tasks. There is agricultural work (cattle, pig and poultry rearing and vegetable gardening) and building work too. There are opportunities to learn trades – as a carpenter / joiner, roofer, bricklayer… Initially they work with a master tradesman, and then over time, they work independently.

Dozens of young men have already found help in this centre holding a maximum of 18 residents at any one time where they can stay for up to a year, and in some cases even longer. On weekends, they take part in parish life and come to grips with questions of faith. They learn – often for the first time in their life – something of the basics of their faith, and at the same time they learn to take responsibility for their own lives. In this way, both physically and psychologically strengthened, they are able to return to their own families, and in many cases even establish families of their own.

Sapjornoje was the first such Orthodox centre of its kind in Russia. Its success rate of around 75% of former addicts permanently recovered has vindicated Father Sergij’s approach and brought widespread recognition and imitation throughout the country. At the same time, the centre in Sapjornoje continues to grow steadily.

The centre is intended to be self-supporting, and indeed it manages very successfully to be so. Nevertheless, again and again there is a need for major investments, which the centre cannot (yet) afford to fund.  Therefore, in past years, ACN has helped with the purchase of kitchen equipment and furniture, and helped with funds to build the extension and also for the establishment of a joinery workshop, a bathhouse and laundry facilities; a building to accommodate the training staff and helpers in the centre, and also for the renovation of a wooden church which had been partly destroyed by fire and was originally been built in the 1990s by the residents themselves, with their own hands and with great love and attention to detail.

Now Father Sergij is asking for our help, once again. This time, he needs help building the extension of the existing complex in Sapjornoje. The intention is to build a storeroom, a small clinic/ hospital wing, and also some cattle stalls, as well as carrying out repair work on the existing buildings.

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.

ACN staff have already been on the spot and seen for themselves the outstanding work done at this centre – and we are therefore proposing to contribute $70,000 to support the cost of the required work.

International Prayer for Nigeria – Day 7

PRAYER FOR PEACE IN NIGERIA

 

God the Father our creator, God the Son our Redeemer, God the Holy Spirit our Sanctifier!

We praise and thank you  for the precious gift of Nigeria, which was and still remains a cosmopolitan, multi- cultural, multi- ethnic as well as multi-religious society. Your gift of tolerance, moderation, accommodation and Love for one another were the traits that made great this people and this society.

Sadly though, in recent times, they have been plagued by political, ethnic and religious crises and have suffered the destruction of lives and property. We humbly ask for the gift of reconciliation, that we forgive each other. Heal the wounds with the radiance of your love and mercy.  Teach us to live in peace and harmony.

May their leaders be instruments of love, peace, tolerance, social and economic development. Help them to be selfless in service and to lead their people in the path of dialogue and reconciliation, so that they can truly be one family, working for the common good. May dissenting views be a source of harmony and peaceful coexistence! Bless and provide for their youth and help them to be peace loving.

Lord may the weapons of evil, hatred and violence be silenced by love. May we enjoy unity and stability as your children who live, move and have our being in you.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

O Jesus prince of peace: be merciful, restore permanent peace to the world and, these days especially, to Nigeria, from north to south.

Our Lady Queen of Peace: Obtain for us peace in our hearts, peace in our families, peace in our countries.

Amen

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.

Press Release – Nigeria

Nigeria

Germany, Munich 23.04.2013Press Conference with presentation ofBishops attack government corruption 

John Newton, ACN United Kingdom

Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, ACN Canada

Attacking “the ugly tide of corruption” in Nigeria’s government, a Catholic bishop has highlighted the tough challenges the country’s new administration will face after the election. 


Montreal, Friday
February 13 In a message sent to international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of Sokoto, Nigeria said the next parliament will need to deal with pressing issues destabilizing the nation. “Years of corruption have diminished the sense of loyalty to the Nigerian state,“ he said calling on the new president “to rally citizens around the project of a national identity and national unity.”

According to Bishop Kukah major inequalities have resulted from the wealth from Nigeria’s natural resources being concentrated in the hands of a few. “Despite the huge resources that the nation has received from the unprecedented sales in oil, there is hardly anything to show for it in the lives of ordinary citizens. The uncontrollable hemorrhaging of resources has led to the ubiquity of misery among the people.” He called on the election’s winners to channel resources into education, job creation and agriculture.

The impact of Boko Haram

Bishop Kukah warned that terrorist group Boko Haram had increased tensions between religious groups saying: “the insurgency has depleted a lot of the good will among the various ethnic groups and further deepened the fracture between Christians and Muslims.”

Nigeria: Military forces entering the north-east to help repel BDrawing attention to recent attacks by Boko Haram, Bishop Kukah said: “In Sokoto where I live, as well as most northern cities, the last few months have witnessed a huge exodus of citizens, some out of the country, and others to their ancestral homes in different parts of the country.”

There are fears of a repeat of the violence that followed the 2011 election, when 800 killed were killed over a three-day period and many churches, businesses and homes were destroyed. Bishop Kukah explained, “Sadly, the federal government did almost nothing to redress these issues. No one was prosecuted and except for a few, the federal government did not deal with the issues of compensation for the majority of the citizens who lost property.”

“This is based on the ugly experiences that have been associated with some of the worst form of violence in Nigeria,” said the bishop describing how Christians had started sending their families to their ancestral homes and states even before the Christmas.

But the prelate was largely positive about the elections, which are currently scheduled for Saturday, March 28. “Nigerians,” he said “are approaching the forthcoming elections with measured optimism, excitement but a deep sense of caution and even trepidation.” Saying that the result was “too close to call,” Bishop Kukah paid tribute to efforts to repel Boko Haram’s recent incursion further south ahead of polling day.

ACN has provided $64,220 in emergency aid to the displaced people of the Maiduguri diocese who fled the advance of Boko Haram.

The charity also provided $52,800 in Mass Offerings to priests in the diocese, half of whom found refuge in the neighbouring Yola diocese.

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.

 

Requirements:

  • 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

Benefits

 

Aide à l'Église en Détresse info@acn-aed-ca.org 514.932.0552

Aid to the Church in Need
info@acn-aed-ca.org
514.932.0552

 

 

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

By Fax:  (514) 932-4734

By E-mail:  info@acn-aed-ca.org