You are a beloved child of God. It is a wondrous gift to know that God loves us unconditionally. Each person deserves the fullness of this gift. Through his love, we are asked to respond to people whose needs are greater than our own. As Franciscans, we live a life in service to people who are vulnerable and marginalized. No matter where in the world we are called, we place ourselves in direct service to the poor. People who struggle for basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter are the most vulnerable. For many people in developing countries, a place to call home is merely a dream. Parents living in extreme poverty can barely provide food for their children. Four walls and a roof overhead are often beyond reach.

A Place to Call Home in India

Our Franciscan missionaries work tirelessly around the world to provide housing for families who lack the means to obtain dignified, safe housing for themselves. We have received requests from Franciscan missionaries in India for two special housing projects. Father Stephen Lamin, OFM, from St. Thomas the Apostle Province, has submitted a request to fund an expansion of the Assisi Boy’s Home at Nongjri Mission in the Indian state of Meghalaya. Meghalaya is one of the most remote and undeveloped areas of India.

The people of Meghalaya are mainly the indigenous Khasi tribe and are mostly Christian. Education for children of the area is almost nonexistent. The missionaries are the children’s only hope to be educated. The boys come from distant villages to seek a place to live while they attend school. Our missionary friars are focusing on boys because there is an order of sisters providing lodging and education for the girls of the area.

The Assisi Boy’s Home was constructed in December 2021 and can provide housing for 50 boys. When 80 boys applied, 30 had to be turned away. Fr. Stephen submitted a proposal for $65,000 to complete another wing that will house an additional 50 students. Father Rajasekhar Gopu, OFM, from St. Thomas the Apostle Province in India, has requested $30,000 to build homes for 5 very poor families in the province. Some of the families are living on the streets, while others live in buildings that are merely shacks. Most are day laborers or elderly.

A Place to Call Home in Burundi and Jamaica

Father Victor Nkundayezu, OFM, from the Province of St. Francis in Africa, Madagascar and Mauritius, has submitted a proposal for $6,000 to build 7 homes for poor families of the Kavongozi Parish in Burundi, Africa. These families live under lean-tos or in buildings without doors and windows. The new homes will be constructed out of clay bricks and will have timbered roofs, windows, and doors. Father Jim Bok, OFM at Mary Gate of Heaven Church in Negril, Jamaica, has submitted a request for $9,000 to make necessary repairs to the homes of 8 families.

Many people in the community live in deplorable housing conditions and have no means to repair the deteriorating structures. Leaking roofs and rotting wood are often a problem. One example is Ms. Pansy, who lives in a deplorable house made of ply and zinc. Her elderly, blind mother and teenage son live with her. Ms. Pansy has been working to finish her house for years but has never had the resources to make the necessary improvements.

Fr. Jim and other missionary friars will be involved in the administration and actual work of the projects, including two friars who are in initial formation. They recently completed their novitiate and are part of the Brothers Walking Together program.

Your Gift will Bring Hope

I need your help again today to raise the funds to pay for these emergency requests that will provide families living in extreme poverty with safe, secure housing. You can help our missionary friars provide four walls and a roof overhead to protect children and families!

Your gift today will be used to purchase building materials and provide the labor needed to make overdue and urgent repairs to ensure homes are weathertight, or to completely rebuild a new home for a family living outdoors or in a shack. Your gift makes a difference in the lives of families, children, and elders living in extreme poverty!

Thank you for considering my request and looking into the lives of the vulnerable people our missionary friars serve. You are a beloved child of God, and I believe your generosity in support of our work is an example of your goodness, your love, and your care for others. God bless you and your loved ones abundantly this summer and always.

Sincerely,

Br. Andrew Brophy, OFM

Executive Director

Please Donate

P.S. Your gift today will help bring great relief and hope to families living in unsafe, inadequate housing. You can help put a safe roof over their heads. Please offer your best gift in support of our missionary friars today. Thank you!