Announcements (March 30, 2003)

1. Our second collection is for American Bishops Overseas Appeal which supports Catholic Relief Services and other agencies. As I mentioned in last Sunday’s homily, CRS is working closely with the Catholic Church in Iraq to provide supplemental feeding, potable water, medicines, as well as vocational training. Please use the envelope in your packet or your Rice Bowl to make your contribution to this important work.

Catholic Relief Services In Iraq Today CRS provides ongoing humanitarian assistance to the people of Iraq on the basis of need not creed through the local church, mainly through Caritas Iraq. In order to better assist those in need, especially the most vulnerable populations, CRS is helping Caritas Iraq improve its organizational capacities and create relationships with other local partners such as the Iraqi Red Crescent Society. CRS also works directly with the Archdiocese of Basra in southern Iraq, where it supports the distribution of basic medicines for vulnerable people and vocational training.

In addition to serving the vulnerable Iraqi population inside the country, CRS also extends its services to a significant population of Iraqi refugees that leave their country for economic, political and security reasons. Many relocate to nearby Jordan and Lebanon. Given the large number of refugees, migrant workers and displaced persons relative to the number of Jordanian and Lebanese citizens, the needs at times outstrip the capacity of local groups. CRS complements local efforts by supporting programming in basic humanitarian assistance and legal support to Iraqi refugees in both Jordan and Lebanon.

CRS' current work in Iraq includes:

Supplemental Feeding - CRS targets malnourished children, pregnant women and nursing mothers. By 2001, the program had reached over 16,500 children and 7,000 pregnant and lactating women in six areas throughout Iraq. The program remains a vehicle for awareness raising in the local community on basic issues such as proper hygiene and good nutritional habits. This program also builds the capacity of local non-governmental organizations to address the nationwide problem of malnutrition. Iraq is 96 percent Muslim, 4 percent Christian and a small number of other religious groups. The Christian population is predominantly Catholic and members belong to the Chaldean Catholic rite. CRS works in partnership with the local Catholic Church through Caritas Iraq to deliver aid to those most in need regardless of their religious affiliation.

Water - CRS also addresses the problem of poor quality drinking water by providing assistance for the rehabilitation of water systems in several areas. Our work reaches approximately 130,000 people including Muslims, Christians and Yazidis.

Basic Medicines and Vocational Training - CRS provides short-term support in southern Iraq by distributing medicine and offering vocational training to needy populations.

The Future CRS will continue to help Iraq as its citizens have already suffered as a result of internal and external factors over the last decade. CRS is working on the following in order to ameliorate the suffering of the Iraqi people:

Expanding our assistance both in Iraq and in nearby countries where displaced Iraqis now reside.

Helping local partners build their capacities for a future Iraq

Iraq is 96 percent Muslim, 4 percent Christian and a small number of other religious groups. The Christian population is predominantly Catholic and members belong to the Chaldean Catholic rite. CRS works in partnership with the local Catholic Church through Caritas Iraq to deliver aid to those most in need regardless of their religious affiliation.

2. During the Fridays of Lent, beginning at 5:45 p.m., we will have Soup Nights in the Ailbe House Youth room. Please come for soup and join in the Stations of the Cross following at 7 p.m. in the Church.

3. Lent is a beautiful time for Eucharistic Adoration. The Ailbe House Chapel is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, except Wednesday, when Adoration takes place in the church. Note: On Wednesdays of Lent, Children's Way of the Cross at 2:15 p.m. in the Church.

4. We are currently enrolling for the 2003-2004 school year. Please call our school or parish office for more information.

5. Please notice the announcement regarding the Family Night Auction, next Saturday, April 5. Doors open 5:30 p.m. Admission is Free, Bid Cards are $5.00. Family Night offers us the opportunity to become better acquainted as a community. There will be Fun, Food, and Games for whole family. Please come to the parish hall next Saturday evening to support our school and parish.

6. The Bible Study/Rosary Prayer Group continues to meet every Sunday evening at 7 p.m. All are welcome.

7. Holy Family Parish children (grade levels 4-8) are welcome to join Holy Family Track and Field program? Contact Maggie Levesque at 935-6340. $25 registration fee. Practices are happening now. Track meets begin in May.

8. Baptism classes will take place on April 14 and 21 in the Ailbe House Library. Next baptism of infants and small children will be celebrated on Sunday, April 27 at 2:30 p.m.

9. There will be confessions this Thursday, April 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. in our church.

10. Scrip will be available after the morning Masses. Scrip can be used to purchase gasoline, food and many other necessary items. It costs you nothing more and is a great way to support our school and parish.