Fr. Chris Unachukwo, MSP, the Nigerian missionary who is now serving at the House of Mercy (rebuilt by Franciscan Mission Outreach) in Torit, South Sudan, recently sent me these photos of the Chrismas celebrations he and Fr. Noel, MSP, lead in some remote villages in the diocese, with the help of the blue Toyota Land Cruiser (photo below) and equipment and resources provided by FMO. They were able to use the projector, generator and sound system to show the birth of Jesus in a film in the local tribal language.
With the help of Dr. Will Stallings of Virginia, in January of this year Franciscan Mission Outreach was able to send a blood analyzer (photo below) to St. Theresa Catholic Hospital in Isohe, South Sudan, to improve and expand the kinds of blood tests the hospital is able to provide. In March, we received the very sad news that Bishop Akio Johnson Mutek of Torit died suddenly as a result of kidney problems. The diocese mourns his loss and awaits the appointment of a new pastor.
YOUTH 2OOO NEW YORK
Franciscan Mission Outreach worked with the leadership team of YOUTH 2OOO New York to develop a new format for their well-known Eucharistic youth retreats called "Face to Face." The retreats now take place in a space surrounded by banners with photos of saints and Scripture quotes related to the new theme. It launched in September of last year to a overwhelmingly positive response, and has had several other events since.
GRANJA JESÚS DE NAZARETH, HONDURAS
With the support of Franciscan Mission Outreach, Missioners of Christ continue to regularly work with and minister to the boys and young men at the Granja Jesús de Nazareth (Jesus of Nazareth Farm). At Christmas they distributed gifts collected by Sacred Heart Parish St. Marys, PA (above), and earlier this year they distributed Spanish Catholic Youth Bibles to the older boys in the youth group (below.)