Dear Ascension Parishioners and Visitors,
As part of the Mission Co-Op Program, missionaries from different parts of the world visit our parishes every summer. Because of the current pandemic, they are not visiting us this year. However, the Diocese of San Jose is committed to supporting their mission, carried out under circumstances that are more challenging than what we are currently going through in the US. In this difficult year, your gifts are more meaningful, and whatever you can give will be greatly appreciated. In the Jewish tradition, giving and sharing, called "tzedakah" (literally means righteousness) is seen as a religious obligation that even the poor must fulfill.
We are assigned to support the Diocese of Sigida in Tanzania this year. It's not too late to make a donation.
There are two ways to give:
- Make an online donation via WeShare at this link on our Ascension website:
Please write "Mission Co-op donation" in the "Comment" box (right under the "Amount" box, so our parish knows your donation in this Special Donation is for the Diocese of Sigida.
- or Write a check payable to Ascension Church, which will send it to Sigida Diocese.
Do you want to know about the Sigida Diocese? - Watch this video: https://youtu.be/LFd7CpJM3eQ
- Read the text that follows this note.
Thank you for your generosity,
Message by Fr. Titus Julian Kachinda, Catholic Diocese of Singida, Tanzania
Covid 19 has set us apart and so this year we are unable to come before you in person to share our pastoral experiences for this year’s Mission Appeal. I would therefore like to do it in writing and video.
Background Information on Singida Catholic Diocese
Established on December 16th 1972, the diocese has 73 priests working in 28 Parishes and other institutes of social services that are scattered in an area of 30,659 square miles of a mainly dry and semi-arid country that receives a minimal annual rainfall between 500-800mm.
The population in the entire area is about 2 million of which only 198,000 are Catholics and the rest are either Muslims, Christians of other denominations and Traditionalists. The people are mainly subsistent peasants and semi-nomadic herdsmen earning on average less than 1 US dollar per day.
The Diocese of Singida has a number of challenges for which we request your support to accomplish its mission, to mention a few:
1. Faith formation & evangelization:
• training of catechists who are the basic teachers of catechumens and candidates for sacraments in parishes and mission station churches
• Trainings to empower catholic women organizations and formation of the youth
• Assisting to the education for orphans and children with disabilities
• Assisting for education of children of poor families
• Supporting the training 33 seminarians at major & senior level (candidates to priesthood)
3. Charity Homes:
These are the homes maintained by the diocese for abandoned children, orphans, children with disabilities and the disadvantaged elderly. Their needs include health care, basic daily living, education and support of volunteer caregivers.
Why we request your support
I don’t need to tell anyone of you about the economic situation in Africa. In Tanzania the average income per day of regular citizens is less than a dollar. But amidst such economic misfortunes with our people the basic and most popular challenge for the population is not primarily poverty or laziness. It is actually “knowledge deficiency;” poverty is just in the series of other miserable outcomes. That is why the basic strategy of the church’s mission in the Diocese of Singida is “education” – to impart knowledge to the community, knowledge that will make a difference. We therefore request your hand among other things towards our endeavor in liberating our people from the shackles of knowledge deficiency.
We are making this appeal to you, brothers and sisters, because I believe we ultimately belong to something bigger and more lasting than just where we come from or our ethnicities. More importantly belong to a community. We share and are united in faith. We are children of one and the same God. Your brothers and sisters in faith somewhere need you very much especially now. It is true and I believe you all have your own economic challenges; and family and life obligations to meet. But let us remember that there are those men, women and children who have fallen on hard times and bad luck. Who cannot find work or job that pays enough to keep a roof over their heads. Who cannot afford education for their loved ones. Orphan infants without tender hands touching them – and they never did any wrong to deserve such miseries.
If you save only one dollar in two your meals every day you surely can support feeding one child for whole year in Africa. Scripture says God creates us for works of service; and before all the saints who are now in heaven made their wonderful history they first made a difference especially in the lives of others. We are given this opportunity to make a difference by your small and not small donations made in love. St. John Paul II said the following words about the meaning of Mission:
“Some become missionaries by going to the missions and others become missionaries by giving to the missions; without both there are no missions."
Your generosity will make it possible for the Diocese of Singida on her mission of charity to serve literally thousands of the unprivileged with convenience and genuine compassion.
Thank you for your support. May God bless you all.