Thought of the week
A few years ago, while on holiday in Belgium, I visited the cemetery where the dead of the Battle of Passchendaele lie beneath the white headstones and the memorial walls containing the names of those whose bodies were never found. Prince Charles and others were eloquent last week, in speaking of the horror of war which should lead us to cherish peace.
However, the great bloodletting of the First World War was followed by the Second and new wars, insurrections and civil unrest as we hear in daily news bulletins. Sometimes it is hard to focus on which particular place or people we should address our charitable support and fundraising. However, we naturally choose a place with which we or our neighbours have particular association.
'Caritas Portugal’ has asked ‘Caritas Jersey’ to provide support for the urgent needs of ‘Caritas Venezuela’. As you will have seen on your television news, things are deteriorating in that country due to the collapse of democratic institutions and good government. People are now experiencing malnutrition, lack of adequate medicines and the breakdown of law and order.
Through the Diplomatic Agency of the Vatican, ‘Caritas Venezuela’ is able to purchase food and medicines from Colombia to bring into Venezuela without it being confiscated by government forces. How can we help? Why should we help? Because many of our Madeiran parishioners were born in Venezuela where their families have gone to seek employment in the days that one time oil-rich country welcomed immigrants from many places. They have relatives still there whom they tell me are suffering deprivations.
‘Caritas Portugal’ is sending us a number of special candles for us to sell. These we will buy at 35p and sell them at a pound to raise 65p per candle towards aid for Venezuela.
I am inviting all Jersey Madeiran-Venezuelans and anyone else of goodwill, to meet with me in St Thomas’ Hall this coming Wednesday 9 August at 8pm to discuss how we can promote this sale of Caritas candles and discuss what else we could do. Can you come and join us, whether you speak Portuguese or not?