YOU may be the only reflection of Christ that some people ever see. Together, we deliver hope.
When Saint Francis personally fed hungry lepers and washed and bandaged their sores, they experienced the love of Jesus. In the face of St. Francis, those most abandoned and neglected of human souls came to know the face of Christ.
Franciscan missionaries today continue to reflect the face of Christ by treating the sick and the dying as St. Francis did. They see Jesus in the poor and afflicted.
Helping Lepers in India
Father Jaya Paul, OFM sees Jesus in the faces of people suffering life-threatening diseases every day in Palamaner, India. Poverty in India is rampant. Many people cannot afford to buy the essentials necessary to survive.
Fr. Jaya and our other Franciscan missionary friars from St. Louis Friary in Palamaner visit the sick, the elderly, and lepers. They are the poorest of the poor living in the margins of society.
The friars provide food parcels, medicines, life essentials, and spiritual consolation. By following in the footsteps of St. Francis, our friars in this community are precious witnesses to God’s love for every human person.
These same friars also operate a daily soup kitchen. They feed about a hundred people each day. Many are survivors of leprosy and live in a village nearby. It costs only $1 a day to feed one person at our soup kitchen!
Our friars and your generosity reflect the love and mercy of Christ to these poor, abandoned people. Please consider sending a gift today. Your support will help Fr. Jaya and our other missionary friars in Palamaner care for the poor!
Treating Diseases in Guinea-Bissau
Our Franciscan hospital in Cumura, Guinea-Bissau, Africa treats patients afflicted with dreadful, life-threatening diseases. Leprosy, malaria, AIDS, and tuberculosis are common.
The hospital treats new patients in the emergency room every day and several thousand must be admitted during the year! Many people walk for miles to get to our hospital.
In such a poor country where malnutrition is common, food is the first medicine for patients because their immune systems must be strengthened.
Father Laurentino Gomes, OFM and the other friars do not have the local resources to purchase food for their patients. They have asked for an emergency grant of $25,000 to help them purchase enough food to feed 1,066 patients a day for the next four months. It costs $24 per day to feed one patient, and they are estimating there will be 336 pediatric patients and 233 maternity patients with other pathologies.
Will You Open Your Heart
I ask you to open your heart once again to support our missionary friars working in our hospital in Cumura. They work all day treating people with life-threatening, dangerous diseases because they see Jesus in each one of them.
Fr. Laurentino and the friars pray every day for good, generous friends like you who support their work. It costs about $600,000 a year to operate the Cumura hospital. This includes the pharmacy, the laboratory, caring for the lepers during and after treatment, caring for children, and feeding all the patients.
The laboratory is an expensive, but very important, part of the hospital. When a critically ill patient arrives in the emergency room, quick, effective laboratory tests are necessary to diagnose the patient’s illness accurately so correct treatments can begin as soon as possible.
Lab materials are very expensive, and Fr. Laurentino has also submitted an emergency request for $20,000 to restock the lab at our Franciscan hospital in Cumura with necessary reagents and other consumable supplies.
Beginning the immediate and correct treatment for a life-threatening disease can be the difference between life and death. Fr. Laurentino estimates that these supplies will serve 552 poor and sick children, and 1,054 other patients including pregnant women, patients with tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, leprosy, and other pathologies for a 4-month period.
I pray you will understand the urgency of the situation at our Franciscan hospital in Cumura. Can you offer today your prayers and financial support to help Fr. Laurentino and our other friars buy food and laboratory supplies for people suffering from life-threatening diseases?
Please help as best you can. Any gift would make a difference, and the food and medicine you help provide will be reflections of Christ to those who are suffering!
May your heart be filled with the Lord’s peace and joy through your goodness to the poor.
Brother Andrew Brophy, OFM
P.S With deepest gratitude, I pray that our Lord blesses you for generously helping Franciscan missionaries provide food and medicine to the poor who are suffering from life-threatening diseases or living in extreme poverty.