INFORMATION FOR MISSION APPEALS

HOMELITIC HINTS FOR MISSION APPEALS:

(After finding some connection between the Sunday Scripture readings and missions - usually one can find some way to lead from the day's Scripture into the theme of universal church: eg: "We are not alone. Today all over the world Catholics are gathered to worship as we are, hearing what we hear. However, many of them can not do so with the comfort and safety, or with the ease of travel, which we enjoy.")

  1. Introduce yourself and the Province
  2. 50 years ago we went to Nigeria; today they are an independent Province; I tell you about this success so that you will know that moneys you give us is always well used.
  3. Today we have missionaries in Kenya, Central America and Bolivia. I would like to focus on our mission in Bolivia, because Bolivia is the poorest country in Latin America.
  4. In the 1950's, at the request of a Bishop, we sent missionaries to Bolivia to teach in the seminary there.
  5. The seminary closed, but our Priests, having seen the poverty in the country, asked to stay and work with the poor. Over the years they were joined by others.
  6. The situation today (see figures in the information outline which follows as you wish).
  7. Our ministries to the poor (see figures in the information outline).
  8. They are mostly dependent on our Province for financial support. Most of the people to whom they minister are too poor to support the ministry.
  9. Problem with local money: the coca industry - can't know where the money came from (see information outline).
  10. Therefore, I come to you to ask your help. If you can, how about giving us 10% of the average Bolivian salary? That's only $35.00 dollars. Think of how easily we spend $35.00 without thinking about it: dinner for two in a restaurant (sometimes just the bar tab can be more than $35.00); going to a ball game; even just a night at the movies for two can add up to close to $35.00. Of course, if you golf you know what that costs, just to hit a little ball around. You can feed the soul of a Bolivian youth addicted to coca for far less than it costs to play golf. But if you cannot afford $35.00 we will bless you for whatever you can give.
  11. Please join us in our missionary efforts by your prayers financial support.

DATA ON BOLIVIA:
Information marked with an * indicates
Figures which are particularly effective in an appeal

POLITICAL SITUATION

GENERALLY UNSTABLE
*ROLE OF COCA: Bolivia is considered second only to Peru as the leading coca producer in Latin America, much of which is exported, especially to the . U.S. A problem with approaching wealthy Bolivians for money to support ministries is the question of where the money came from. Unless one knows the person personally, one cannot be sure that one is not receiving ill-gotten gains.

STATISTICAL DATA:

BOLIVIA:
Capital: legal capital - Sucre; actual capitol (seat of government) - LaPaz Population: ca 7,000,000
*65% illiteracy rate
*60% younger than 21 years of age
Geography: 3 levels of altitude - AltiPlano (2/3 of the population); Valleys; Lowlands

ECONOMICS:
*Bolivia is the poorest country in South America 65% of population lives in rural areas
*Average annual salary = $350.00 US
DOMINICANS IN BOLIVIA

LOCATIONS

SANTA CRUZ;
La Mansion Center: Over 4,000 people attend the Sunday morning Mass. 3 priests are involved in TV and Radio preaching The Marian Shrine at Cotoca (11 miles from Santa Cruz):
Thousands of pilgrims go to the shrine during the year and especially for the December 8 feast of the parish.

COCHABAMBA:
St. Jude Thaddeus Studium: students study at the Catholic University in Cochabamba.

LA PAZ:
New ministries are being developed in La Paz. Heretofore, only 1 priest lived there. Presently there are 2, who have opened a new house.

STATISTICS:

VOCATIONS:
*Vocations are up ca 15% in recent years

MEMBERSHIP:
Pre-novitiate = 12
Bolivians Novitiate = 1
Bolivian Studentate = 8
Bolivians Bolivian Priests = 14
U.S. Priests = 4

MINISTRIES:
*Traveling across the Alti Plano from parish to parish to say Mass and preach (People come from miles around on foot for Mass and Preaching.)
*Preaching: in barrios, camps, ON RADIO AND TV as well as liturgical preaching.
Teaching religion in public schools
Holding theology classes in Dominican parishes and in charismatic centers Teaching scripture in Catholic centers
*Soup kitchens
*Home for street boys on drugs
Visiting prisons and hospitals, as well as home-bound

MEANS OF SUPPORT:

PROVINCE OF ST. ALBERT provides funding for the formation program and for living expenses for friars over sixty.
INDIVIDUAL FRIENDS OF U.S. - BORN MISSIONARIES who send funds to St. Dominic's Mission Society to promote the ministry that their friend is involved in.
ALSO: see note on "Coca" above, re funds from Bolivians.


MISSION APPPEAL SAMPLE HOMILY: How Bede Jagoe might preach....

How nice it is to be with you this weekend. My name is Fr. Bede Jagoe, and I am a Dominican priest, and a former missionary in Nigeria on the West Coast of Africa. I have the privilege to preach at all the Masses in your parish at the welcome of your pastor and the Propagation of the Faith office of your diocese who arranges that a mission appeal be given each year to support the church in a foreign country.

Mission activity, the preaching of the Gospel, the proclamation of the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ is at the very heart of our Christian life. The Scriptures that speak of preaching the Gospel to the poor and to the very ends of the earth was not just given to the early apostles, but to every one who is baptized in Jesus Christ. Our obligation and duty to pray and bring financial support to the missions is given to us at our baptism. Today we have the opportunity to carry out our baptismal commitment in a very special way.

My twenty three years in Africa, from 1961- 1984, was certainly the heightened experience of my priestly life. I would have hundreds of stories to tell you about working among the poor of Northern Nigeria on the edge of the Sahara desert. What was so wonderful to behold, and I know this to be true among all peoples of the third world who experience abject poverty, that they have three things in common:

  • they have a strong family life, from birth until death everyone is intimately related and caring for one another. Children looking after grandparents, uncles helping nephews and nieces through school, grandmothers looking after grandchildren.
  • they have a wonderful sense of celebration. Poor as they are they manage to rejoice and celebrate with what little they have. Each little change in life is an opportunity for a party, for eating and drinking, singing and dancing, young and old alike. Their celebration overflows into the liturgy of the Mass with the priest presider and the other ministers dancing down the main aisle, both at the beginning and the end of Mass.
  • they have a keen sense of the presence of God at all times, throughout the entire day. Perhaps their constant awareness of the presence of God stems from their poverty since they must throw their entire lives upon the mercy of God. God's name is spoken in all the greetings of the day, blessing one another is a common occurrence.
Not only are we Dominicans in Africa, but also in Bolivia in South America. I would like to focus my talk on the church in Bolivia as Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in the world. Also, Bolivia has a 65% illiteracy rate, nearly 60% of the total population is younger than 20 years of age. 65% of the people live in rural areas and the average income is equivalent to $350 per year.

We Dominicans have been working in Bolivia since the 1950's , initially teaching in the local seminary Later our Brothers and Priests branched out to stay and work with the poor of the country. We began preaching in the barrios and camps, later on radio and television, running soup kitchens and providing a home for street boys on drugs.

Many of you may know that Bolivia is second only to Peru as the leading coca producer in South America, much of which is exported (smuggled) into the United States. A problem facing our Dominican missionary brothers in Bolivia is the approach made for

funds from wealthy Bolivians to support our preaching ministry. The question is, Where does their money come from? Unless one knows the person personally, there is a fear that the wealth has come from the drug cartel.

Today vocations among Dominican is up by 15% and we have recently built our own seminary to train Bolivian Dominicans. We have twelve candidates waiting to enter the novitiate, 14 Bolivian Dominican priests, many of them traveling across the alti-plano to say Mass and preach to the people who come on foot from miles around.

My reason for coming among you today is to seek your help. I ask that you might pray daily for the Church in Bolivia and for our missionaries ministering to the poor of that country. As I mentioned, most Bolivian earn approximately $350 per year. If you can, could you afford to give just 10% of their average yearly salary, which would be $35? Yes, just $35. Think how easily we spend $35 without really thinking about it. A dinner for two would be easily twice that much, perhaps the bar tab with a pre-prandial drink and wine could amount to $35. Going to a ball game, or a family night at the movies would be $35 or more. You could feed the soul of a Bolivian child addicted to coca for far less than it costs to play a round of golf. But if you cannot give $35 we will bless you for whatever you can afford to give.

The Gospel today speaks of. .......... It is the same Gospel heard in the churches of Bolivia this Sunday. The challenge before us is ........... It is the same challenge of the Bolivian people. Today let us be generous in offering our prayers for the missions, the preaching of the Gospel to the ends of the earth, and especially among the poor. I thank you for your generosity and asks God' s blessing for you for your kindness.


BACK TO PROV