Each of the 40 Clerics will receive about 430 Euros for the entire year, ACN leadership announced, adding that the Priests will in turn offer Holy Mass for the intentions of the benefactors who have made the offerings.
The Mass offering, also called stipend, is a gift freely given by the faithful as a gesture of gratitude and love and material support for the Priest, who in return offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the intentions of the benefactor, ACN leadership has explained.
Such intentions include prayer requests for the soul of a departed relative, for a sick person, or for a private intention known to the benefactor alone.
“As the Canon Law of the Catholic Church makes absolutely clear, the offering is in no sense a ‘payment’ for the celebration of the Mass. However, in many parts of the world such offerings represent a vital contribution to the support of our priests, who in any case more often than not use them not just for themselves but also for the wider needs of their people,” the leadership of the charity organization elucidates.
The Catholic aid agency notes that Sierra Leone is among African countries that have been worst hit by the COVID-19, owing to the country’s struggles with the aftermath of a civil war and the outbreak of Ebola that left many survivors vulnerable.
“In recent times the people of Sierra Leone have gone through a great deal of suffering. To this day the consequences are still evident of the bloody civil war that raged from 1991 to 2002, claiming innumerable human lives and devastating large portions of the country’s infrastructure,” ACN leadership notes in the statement on its website.
The economy of Sierra Leone, ACN leadership further notes, has been totally wrecked and over 70 percent of the country’s 7 million inhabitants are living in poverty today.
“The Ebola epidemic of 2014 and a string of grave natural disasters have only further exacerbated the situation. And now, in 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has also erupted, making life still more difficult for people, especially given the dire poverty already existing in the country,” says ACN officials.
“As always in such grave situations, it is the Catholic Church once again that is standing by the people,” the leadership of the aid agency observe, adding that for over a hundred years, the Church has been supporting the faithful in the country, “not merely pastorally but also in very practical ways, providing basic medical care, feeding the hungry, providing development aid and accompanying families in all their many needs.”
The Catholic Church, the officials of the charity organization note, is particularly active in the field of education.