INTERNATIONAL: Support grows as Benefactors’ Day approaches

With picture of seminarians at prayer in Nigeria (Image © Aid to the Church in Need)
With picture of seminarians at prayer in Nigeria (Image © Aid to the Church in Need)

Messages of thanks to the supporters of Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) have poured in from bishops, priests and Sisters around the world as the charity gets set to mark its first Benefactors’ Day.

The letters were sent in response to the announcement that on the Feast of the Sacred Heart this Friday (11th June), the charity will be holding its first Benefactors’ Day to thank its hundreds of thousands of supporters worldwide.

Sister Ursule of the Sister Servants of Cana in Brazaville, Republic of the Congo, wrote: “It is a really beautiful idea, dedicating a whole day of prayer to thank those through whom God is extending his hand to the needy…

“That is why such a feast is such a godsend, so that we in turn can give what we have. As Acts 3:6 says. ‘I have no gold or silver, but what I have I give to you…’.”

Around the world, dioceses and religious communities helped by ACN will be praying and offering Mass for all those who support the charity.

Father Mark Nzukwien, rector of St Augustine’s Major Seminary, Jos in Nigeria’s Middle Belt wrote: “As beneficiaries of the sustained generosity of our numerous benefactors, we are pleased to inform you that the Seminary Community will also dedicate the Mass of that day to this joyful celebration of their lives and immense contributions towards the training of priests in Nigeria in particular and the world at large.”

Neville Kyrke-Smith, national director of ACN (UK), said that in the UK Mass was due to be offered for its supporters on Friday at Farm Street Church, London, and will also be offered by Bishop Stephen Robson at St Joseph’s Chapel, Dundee on Thursday (10th June).

He said: “Masses are being offered here in the UK too for our benefactors – for they are the ‘cross-bearers’ who help our brothers and sisters who suffer for their faith today.

“The work of ACN could not be accomplished without the love they show to those in such need at this time.

“We are so grateful for the support that comes from not only individuals but also parishes, schools, universities and other groups.

“Indeed, without our benefactors ACN could not continue its essential work of love, as the charity receives no state or government funding.

“The many touching letters we receive from around the world show that their compassion and prayers are deeply appreciated by those who witness to Christ today amidst suffering, oppression and persecution.”

Mother Maria Fernanda Dionízio da Silva, Prioress General of the Missionary Institute Servants of Jesus the Saviour in Brazil, told ACN: “We are grateful for the generosity of every heart which, with its great love for Jesus, is a channel of providence for us.

“From now on we will be redoubling our prayers for all your benefactors.”

Masses for ACN’s benefactors in the UK will be at: