A religious sister in a remote corner of Zimbabwe has sent Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) a heartfelt message of thanks for providing hundreds of rosaries for a poverty-stricken people who feel their only hope is prayer.
Writing from Matabeleland, in the northwest of the beleaguered country, Sister Clara described how the rosaries donated by ACN had “reminded our people that they are not alone”.
Sister Clara, who is from England and belongs to the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood, was able to receive the rosaries from a fellow Sister who was returning to Zimbabwe after a trip outside the country. Sister Clara explained how the rosaries were distributed across her ‘Fatima Mission’ as part of a pastoral outreach program inviting parishioners to consecrate their homes to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
In a message for ACN, Sr. Clara wrote: “We were really delighted with the rosaries. Ever since we started giving them out, we have been amazed at the people’s response.” She added: “The people were truly filled with great joy at what was happening and danced and sang with heartfelt gratitude to God for visiting them in this way.”
The plans to dispatch the rosaries to Zimbabwe were coordinated by Sr. Clara’s blood Sister, Sr. Crucis, who is a Franciscan from the same order and who has recently returned after many years of pastoral work in Africa. She told ACN: “With the African people you feel that they have a great sense of God and a great thirst to know him through the Scriptures. What they really respond to are opportunities to pray together as a community and the rosary initiative is a wonderful way to do that.”
Reports suggest that people in Matabeleland and across western Zimbabwe have suffered as a result of government investment and development favoring other regions allegedly more in sympathy with the regime.
Zimbabwe is a key focal point for ACN aid.
Last year, ACN gave $384,000 in project support for the country, funding programs including $32,000 to prevent the closure of the 170-bed Mater Dei Hospital in the second city of Bulawayo.