Core to The Basilica’s vision is a commitment “to seek the well-being of the city” around us. If we’ve learned anything in the midst of a global pandemic, we have learned how interconnected and interrelated we are to our sisters and brothers worldwide. In this sense, seeking the well-being of our city isn’t defined by local or national boundaries. We must seek the well-being of all of God’s children in order to find our own.
In 1970, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis began a mission in the Diocese of Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela. Over the past four decades, many priests from the archdiocese have served in various parishes and capacities in the Venezuela Church. Since 1983, priests from our Archdiocese have been pastoring the parish of Jesucristo Resucitado in San Felix. The mutual interchange of peoples, cultures, gifts and faith between the parish of Jesucristo Resucitado and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is the goal of the Venezuela Mission Partnership.
This weekend, The Basilica will have a second collection at all Masses to support the Venezuela Mission Partnership. An estimated 65,000 people live in the 11 distinct barrios (neighborhoods) of the Jesucristo Resucitado parish, and this diocese suffers from 70% unemployment with lack of healthcare and basic nutrition.
Here are some of the ways our archdiocesan efforts and donations minister to the physical and spiritual needs of our sisters and brothers in Venezuela:
- Every weekend there are seven Masses celebrated in the parish – two Masses in the church and five in the barrio chapels. Building more barrio chapels would allow us to provide Masses for the people in their own neighborhoods.
- The Jesucristo Resucitado parish center has space to address medical needs of our people with a medical clinic, dentist office, and medical laboratory.
- The parish center also provides space for a computer center, youth room, and classrooms. A variety of classes teach catechesis and the basic skills to start their own businesses, including classes on baking, cake decorating, cutting hair, basic accounting, basic computer skills, and pharmacist assistant among others.
- Additionally, the daycare center is under remodel to serve as a study center with access to the internet for the youth in the barrio of Campo Rojo.
- The soup kitchen prepares 150 lunches Monday through Friday for mostly children and elderly. Around 70 people eat at the soup kitchen and the rest of the food is delivered to people’s homes.
- The parish collaborates with a neighboring Salesian parish to run a home for abandoned and homeless boys. This home located in the parish, is currently home for 12 boys ages 11 to 18 years old.
Most of us aren’t able to travel around the world as missionaries. But we can all answer the call to be missionary disciples by supporting those who so desperately need our assistance, prayerfully accompanying them and helping them reach their fullest potential.
Thank you in advance for your support of our mission collection, in addition to your generosity to The Basilica’s regular collection.
Donations can also be sent to:
Archdiocesan Center for Mission
Attn: Venezuelan Mission
777 Forest St.
St. Paul, MN 55106-3857
Or you are invited to donate online at archspm.org/venezuela/donate.