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An example of helping Priests in need or in trouble

Hardly a day goes by that someone who has called the NCCL office for one purpose or other asks with sometimes non-plussed curiosity at the uniqueness of the NCCL apostolate, “What does NCCL do anyway?”

(By the way, we’ve even prepared a series of pamphlets answering that oft-repeated question.)

Here follows a concrete example (among scores) of a step in just one running project to assist a Priest in need & experiencing difficulties in the transition from his traditional culture in Africa to the hyper-civilized environment of the States — the Washington D.C. region, specifically.

The letter below was circulated among a Yahoo! group in the Capital region by an NCCL collaborator & home-schooling Mother who recently relocated to the far West.

If you can help Father Joshua, please contact the Executive Director at coalition(at)fast(dot)net.

Dear Agatha,

I’m so glad you & the Family got to know Fr. Joshua when you were still in Maryland. He remembers ya’ll in his daily prayers with affection & gratitude for having invited him into your home and generously helping meet his material needs. Now that you’re back in Idaho, I’d be very grateful were you please to ask your friends back East to show the same charity to Father, in basic shelter and food.

As you know he is a Catholic priest of the ancient Ethiopian church, which was established by St. Athanasius the Great. To refresh your memory, a short time before you first met him Father had come from Rome, where he took a degree in the Church’s social doctrine, while living at the Ethiopian College. He came to the States hoping to continue studies, and expecting with his bishop’s permission to serve the Ethiopian & Eritrean communities in diaspora in North America.

In the meantime, he’s receives only the most meager of aid from them, and none at all from his bishop. He serves the Ethiopian immigrants who call for his help, but they are by and large quite indigent, when not destitute like Father. Were it not, in fact, for the charity of the American laity thus far he’d already be on the streets. He has nothing, and is not interested in mammon but in ministry. While he awaits decisions of his bishop, the Ethiopian Bishops’ Conference and a friendly archbishop-nuncio to help him get settled, he is in pretty dire need of basic shelter & food.

For many of our lay friends, the prospect of having someone else in their small houses with their big families is practically out of the question. But all of us know someone — a neighbor, an uncle, a lonely grandparent — who has a small room & extra bed, and could be asked to put him up for a short (pre-arranged) time. He is glad to work for his room & board.

Maybe some of your friends in the capital region have elderly parents who could put him up for a short time? (Father’s bishop expects him to stay in the general vicinity of D.C.) Maybe they know one or two neighbors, sick or living alone, who need a respectable person to help look after them? Father’s English is good, and he can offer the traditional Ge’ez (Ethiopic) Eastern rite of Mass for those who take him in.

Besides you and John, there are other families who have taken Father in, who could be asked to vouch for him.

Your friends should feel free to call me if they have questions.

Our Lord Christ promises the reward of a prophet — or priest — to the one who receives them. Mt. 10:41.

Pax Christi in Regno Christi!

NCCL – Executive Director

A couple of generous families in Maryland have already responded to the request, but (more) help at this time is needed, and always welcomed.

If in your charity you can help Father Joshua, please contact the Executive Director at coalition(at)fast(dot)net, or dial 610/435-2634.


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