Catholic Churches across the country will on today contribute funds, part of which will be sent to Pope Francis to be used to rebuild churches burnt by the Boko Haram sects in the northern part of Nigeria.
National Director, Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS), Rev. Fr. George Ajana, disclosed this in Abuja while briefing newsmen on the forthcoming World Mission Sunday celebration to be held on October 21.
Ajana said following the extraordinary missionary month, all funds raised on that Sunday will be sent to Pope Francis, adding that he will spend part of the money back to Nigeria to enable the church to assist in the rebuilding process of churches burnt by the Boko Haram sects.
World Mission Sunday, Ajana said is an annual event to assist humanity in various ways.
He urged both the rich and poor to contribute no matter the amount to rebuild the affected part of the north. His words:
“The Pope since 1926 have mandated our participation in and support of mission Sunday through prayers which is most important and then material offering, that is the money and other materials that we give to support the mission of the church. All collections that very day are to be given to the missions. All Catholics are encouraged to give no matter how small.
“The collections will be sent to Rome, to the holy father Pope. Remember no body is too poor that cannot give and nobody is too rich that cannot receive. Some people are suffering out there who do not have what to eat. That is where the church comes in to help.
“In the North Eastern part of the country we are all aware of the impact of Boko Haram insurgency. Churches have been burnt, Reverend Father’s houses have been burnt, Christians have been killed and a lot of lives have been lost. Thank God things have improved now. And many of these churches need to be rebuilt.
“For instance in the Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri, the Catholic Bishop of that diocese have embarked on rebuilding the burnt Churches and you know what that will cost, a lot of money. You don’t just build churches with prayers, we need money.
“In many of these areas, the people are very poor. They cannot afford to build these churches all by themselves; that is why they need external sources and assistance. And that is where the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) comes in.
“So the collections that we raise here after sending it to Pope Francis in Rome, part of them are sent back to us as assistance towards the rebuilding of the churches, father’s houses and convents for sisters. Priests who have been away as refugees in other areas have started coming back but they need places of worship and residences. Even non Catholics can contribute. Hospitals, other churches that are not of Catholics will also be rebuilt. Churches that were destroyed should be more than 200.”