Last June, a group of parishioners, clergy, and St. Ferdinand School staff went on a mission to Jamaica to help the Missionaries of the Poor by caring for the sick and homeless. This was an eye-opening experience that changed them forever.
In the spirit of Almsgiving, each family will receive a collection box that will benefit our new friends in Jamaica. Every donation we receive will make a world of difference in the lives of these people. The donations will help to provide food and supplies that are so desperately needed.
Lent is a time for all of us to sacrifice and give of ourselves just as Christ did. Also during the Lenten season, we will be having a food drive to send dry goods to Jamaica. The Missionaries of the Poor will be visiting our Parish in March for the "Reaching Out to Jesus" mission. We would like to surprise them with an abundance of dry food goods that they can bring back with them. These dry food goods include but are not limited to: rice, beans, pasta/macaroni, oats, sugar, cooking oil, peanut butter, canned ham, and flour. Other goods include: diapers, baby oil/lotion, soap, toothpaste, and shampoo. The Food for the Poor organization has agreed to ship our donations for free to our friends in Jamaica.
The Brothers of the Missionaries of the Poor are now in the process of opening a new center for newborns and young children. They are in desperate need of baby formula and baby cereal. They are also accepting donations of "gently" used infant and toddler clothing. Please remember that the climate in Jamaica is very warm, and all clothing donated should be light. In addition, any infant or toddler equipment such as strollers, cribs, and high chairs would also be greatly appreciated.
St Ferdinand Church • 5900 W Barry Ave, Chicago, IL 60634 • tel: 773 622 5900 • fax: 773 622 5903
In the early years of Missionaries of the Poor, several journeys were made throughout Jamaica and the
caribbean Islands to recruit vocations to our young and promising institute by sharing about our work and charism.
In 1986 Rev. Fr. Richard Ho Lung, Founder and Superior General, decided to venture as far as India in fulfillment of his broad and universal vision of the Church, the poor and the kingdom of God. Finally, on February 8th 1992 our first overseas mission was established in the diocese of Warangal, Andhra Pradesh State, Southern India.
On the invitation of Bishop Thumma Bala of Warangal, Fr. Founder sent three Brothers to pioneer that mission: Fr. Hayden Augustine, Bro. Philip Selvaraj and Bro. Felix Antoniraj. They were joined by many other Brothers over the years, greatly extending the charism and apostolic outreach of the rapidly growing Missionaries of the Poor.
Today the Warangal mission is a thriving complex consisting of Christ the King formation house, which was greatly expanded in 2004, House of Joy residential apostolate opened in 2000, and numerous evangelical and pastoral ministries reaching out to thousands of people hungering for the compassion, love and truth of Jesus.
The House of Joy apostolate now houses about 100 homeless elderly and orphaned, disabled and vulnerable children. Many of the elderly suffer from leprosy, AIDS and total destitution. There are also medical outreach, school sponsorship and programmes for over 400 children and their families.
Missionaries of the Poor also has an extended outreach ministry to the poorest in the nearby slums where we offer food packages and medical assistance to more than 200 people a week. Over the years there have also been the spiritual works of mercy. More than 600 persons and their families have embraced Christianity and the sacramental life of the Catholic Church. Most of them were Hindus belonging to the scheduled castes and tribes, deprived of many of the social and material benefits of modern India. However from the moment of Brothers entered into these people’s lives, things changed dramatically. There was hope for a better future, for inclusion into a universal Church and opportunities to develop their God-given talents and gifts. Now, they live in much better conditions and they even enjoy now the fruits of God’s kingdom in their lives.