Aiding refugees through the Church during times of war, displacement, violence and natural calamities is deeply rooted in the history of ACN. As early as the 1950s, ACN founder Father Werenfried van Straaten conducted pioneering work in helping displaced persons.
As the world continues to grapple with the problem of religious hyper-extremism, ACN’s assistance is not only a vital response to an urgent need in war torn regions, but also a symbol of Christian solidarity with our brothers and sisters.
EXISTENCE HELP FOR THE RELIGIOUS
ACN provides support to religious congregations missioned to impoverished or crisis areas, tending the flock of Christians living in environments of poverty and violence. By our support, we help the Church to reach areas where the light of Christ is direly needed.
CONSTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION OF CHURCH FACILITIES
Churches and religious facilities are often destroyed in areas of crisis. We support the reconstruction in those regions because churches are the heart of Christian life and a sign of hope.
TRAINING OF PRIESTS AND RELIGIOUS
ACN has always been an advocate for theological training of seminarians, postulants and novices. Our help is an investment in forming future priests and nuns who will provide spiritual guidance and assure a sacramental life to the laity. Our support goes to countries where finances for religious formation and education are not sufficiently ensured due to poverty, war or persecution.
FAITH FORMATION OF LAITY
There is a lack of priests in many of the world’s poorest countries. The religious training of the laity for catechetical service is an essential element in keeping the faith alive. These projects aim to enable men and women through basic theological training to pass their beliefs on to others and prepare them for the reception of the Sacraments.
DISTRIBUTION OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS
Since 1979, Aid to the Church in Need has been the publisher and global supplier of children’s Bibles which have been translated into 180 languages and already distributed more than 52 million times. In poor countries, the Bible is often the first book that little ones have access to in their own language and frequently the only picture book they receive in their lifetime.
MEDIA SUPPORT FOR THE PROPAGATION OF FAITH
Following the guiding principle of our founder “information, prayer and action,” we give a voice to marginalized people and spread the wisdom of Church teachings through our communications work. One of our priorities in crisis regions is to promote and strengthen the media of the local churches, in order to assist them in the communication of the Faith.
There are many regions where the faithful are so poor that they cannot support their priests. Mass stipends are often the only means of help for the survival of the Church in these areas. Mass stipends are donations accompanied by the request to celebrate the Holy Mass for the sick or the deceased, or other intentions. Thanks to mass stipends, the livelihood of priests can be assured.
MEANS OF TRANSPORT FOR PASTORAL CARE
As early as the 1950s, Father Werenfried van Straaten sent chapel trucks as mobile churches to displaced persons. Today, we continue to ensure that aid and pastoral care are “on the way.” Whether through trucks, cars, motorcyles, boats or even mules, ACN helps ensure that the Word of God can reach even the most inaccessible areas.