St Simon's Parish Blog

Welcome to the Blog of St Simon Stock Catholic Church, South Ashford, Kent, UK. Our address is: Brookfield Road Ashford Kent TN23 4EU

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For nine years up till July 2010, I was parish priest at St Simon Stock Catholic Church, South Ashford, Kent, England. From July 2010 until June 2011 I was Associate Pastor at St Peter's Cathedral, Marquette, Michigan USA and then Pastor at St Anthony Parish, Gwinn, MI until October 2013. I then transferred to the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon to serve as Director of the Tribunal. And that's what I am currently doing. Since February 2015 I have also been serving as Pastor at St Stephen Parish, South East Portland. I miss "da UP" (Upper Peninsula of Michigan) but love being here in the Pacific North West.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Our Parish Advent & Christmas Appeal - Father Constantine's HIV/AIDS Orphans in Maseru, Lesotho

Father Constantine Mosuoe, priest of the Archdiocese of Maseru in Lesotho, supplied in this parish while I was on holiday a couple of years ago. He moved me with his account of the plight of HIV/AIDS orphans in his parish. For a male to live beyond the age of 35 is an exception. Here's why.
Many of the men folk work in the mines in South Africa which surrounds land-locked Lesotho. Regrettably, during their long absences from home, they engage in sexual activity with prostitutes and others and become infected with the AIDS virus. They come home and infect their wives, resulting in children who are also infected.
Without any prompting from me, both he and a colleague of his, Father Paul Moshe, who also supplied here, said that the abundant supply of condoms is at the heart of the problem. Whereas the Church is trying to instil faithfulness, the easy availability of condoms provides little incentive to truly live a safe and moral sexual lifestyle. On the contrary, it contributes to a promiscuous lifestyle with the consequent lack of self control, risk taking and inevitable infections.
So, the children's fathers and mothers die young and the children end up staying with their grandparents who, of course, are not able to afford to look after them.
Every week, those people in the parishes who can afford it contribute money to enable members of the parish council to buy food, medication and clothing so that the day to day needs of these orphans are met. At an official level, Church and State are investing in educational programmes to increase awareness of the HIV/AIDS problem, but no funding is received for the supply of these day to day needs which are only met through parish initiatives like Father Constantine's.
Every Sunday during Christmas and Advent, starting next Sunday, there will be a second collection and the money raised will be sent to Father Constantine, care of the diocesan bank account. I am absolutely confident that the money raised will go to the intended beneficiaries.
If you would like to contribute, you can send a cheque payable to St Simon Stock (South Ashford) to me. You can also donate by paypal by clicking the button below.

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