Mission & Overseas News
As you undoubtedly know by now, Our Lady’s Apostolate sponsors the Immaculate Heart Orphanage and has completed construction of a larger new building to house the many orphaned children for whom we care. Work progressed slowly on the new building as unseasonable torrential rain made the roads in the area impassible at times for trucks bringing materials to the building site.
While proceeding more slowly than planned, the building work continued between downpours. Tragically, the poor weather conditions have left many thousands of families homeless, their stick and mud homes washed away by the strong rains. In addition, prices on basic foods rose rapidly and many people are now starving.
India is a desperately poor country and there simply are not enough mission funds to help everyone who needs help. Most families in the area where we work do not even have the basic necessities of life. Our Lady’s Apostolate strives to meet some of the most pressing needs through our support of the orphanage and by assisting many children who now receive the necessities of life, as well as a Catholic education, through your support. We believe that through education, and Our Lady’s intercession, the tragic cycle of poverty can be broken.
In a previous newsletter, we featured a letter from Father Peter, the principal at the school where the orphanage children attend classes and he announced how wonderfully the children were succeeding. It is with very deep sadness that we announce that Father Peter died recently. He was a great inspiration to the children and we pray for his family and all the families who treasured him. Many are dedicated to Our Lady and requests for Fatima information and materials continues to increase.
The Philippines have also been the recipient of bad weather as the provinces and outer islands were struck by cyclones, leaving devastation in their wake. Flooding has left many homeless and others trying to dry out the little they have left. Our Apostolate mission office was also flooded, but thankfully damage was kept to a minimum.
Our Philippines Mission continues to work to build devotion to Our Lady and Her Fatima Message through the wide distribution of Fatima Crusader magazines and other Marian literature. Many of our volunteers are currently distributing literature throughout the poorest areas of Manila and many mail them to family and friends in the far-away provinces.
Book distributions have also increased and our mission administrator, Caloy, writes to say that he and his staff are eagerly looking forward to the next issue of The Fatima Crusader and the job of distributing it within the Philippines and in other Asian countries through the mail.
Sister Marie continues her heroic work for the poor and oppressed, getting hundreds of youth off the streets, where many work as prostitutes, and into teaching programs for work at home. She writes to say how deeply grateful she and her fellow Sisters are for the support that you and other members of the Society have given to help these young people help themselves to better lives.
The Apostolate’s new Fatima Center volunteers in Dublin recently distributed a large number of Fatima Crusader magazines and the Public Appeal to the Holy Father, as well as many copies of Fatima Priest, Father Gruner’s biography, throughout Ireland. With the support of Society friends like you, a new shipment of Fatima materials was sent to Ireland. Our volunteers were extremely encouraged by the enthusiastic response of the Irish people and are eager to expand their Fatima outreach project. They also have asked for our prayers and financial support as they work to prevent the proposed legalization of abortion in Ireland.
Our recently-opened information center in Fatima, Portugal, greeted many pilgrims and distributed many pieces of literature on Our Lady’s full Message at Her Shrine. Plans are in the works for Apostolate workers’ return to Fatima in the spring/summer busy pilgrim season. Distribution of Fatima literature will continue on the streets, as well as handing out much sought-after Scapulars. In the next newsletter, we will provide a first-hand report from two of Our Lady’s workers who spent several months in Fatima, including their experiences distributing Fatima literature on the streets of the city.