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September 2011

Formation Programs for Sisters in Indonesia With a population of almost 240 million, Indonesia constitutes the most populous island nation in the world. Catholics make up a minority of just 3% or so within the total population, almost 90% of whom are Muslims. Although the percentage of Catholics is tiny, there are nonetheless over 7 million Catholic faithful living in Indonesia, and in all there are 37 Catholic dioceses in the country as a whole. The island of Java, where the capital Jakarta is situated, has a total of over 130 million inhabitants, making it more populous than any other island on earth. Here, the Dominican Sisters run a mission center and provide help to the sick. There is one hospital, one maternity clinic and three smaller clinics where the Dominican Sisters and other lay staff care for the patients with great devotion, without distinction as to their religious or ethnic background. For at the heart of their vocation is the desire to help those in need. With your help we funded the in-service formation program for 15 Sisters and 155 other staff members. The training provided a range of workshops and seminars, including medical ethics, moral issues, a deepening of the spiritual underpinnings of the work of the Sisters and the other staff, and a strengthening of the motivation of the staff in such dire environment. We are sure the Sisters remember you gratefully in their prayers.

Outreach to Young Mothers in Argentina Many of the young girls themselves still look like children. One might take the babies in their arms for their little brothers or sisters, but in fact the girls are their mothers. Many of them had been on the point of having abortions – having no money, no hope and finding themselves pregnant and filled with fear for the future. Most of them already come from largely dysfunctional families, often with a background of violence and lack of love, including sexual abuse in many cases. They feel worthless, uncertain and full of fear. How, in such a situation, could they possibly care for a child as well? In most cases, the father of the child has already refused to accept responsibility for it, making it hardly surprising that these girls would see abortion as the only solution. In the Diocese of San Nicolas de los Arroyos, over 440 trained volunteers, plus 20 priests and 38 diocesan and parish coordinators, support the women in every way they can. By listening to them, advising them, supporting them and caring for them spiritually and psychologically, they give them a chance to learn and find ways of supporting themselves. For example, many of the women learn to knit and sew, while others learn how to bake and decorate cakes for sale, so that they can one day stand on their own feet economically. Your support makes this Church outreach in Argentina, a life-saving support so that more young women and girls are encouraged not to kill their unborn child but to accept him or her with love. 725 Leonard Street • Box 220384 • Brooklyn, NY • 11222 • 1.800.628.6333 • www.churchinneed.org


Project Update September 2011