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Catholic Sisters’ Host Project in Ghana Receives Boost from Pontifical Aid Agency

For long, members of the Handmaids of the Holy Child Jesus (HHCJ) serving in Ghana’s Catholic Diocese of Sunyani have been unable to meet the demand of hosts used in celebration of Holy Mass in Sunyani and in other surrounding Dioceses where they run various apostolates.

A report provided by Pontifical charity organization, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) International indicates that the monthly demand for small hosts for the laity in the areas where the Sisters operate is 1.5 million while that of the members of the Clergy is 15,000 larger hosts.

The Sisters have only been able to make a negligible percentage of the total number of this amount because of lack of proper equipment, a gap that ACN has come in to fill.

“With their twenty-five-year-old and frequently malfunctioning machine, the sisters could not manage to supply more than 15 percent of this demand, since the whole process of mixing the dough, cutting and baking the hosts was a long and painstaking one,” ACN says in a Wednesday, December 16 report.

Using the worn and damaged electrical cables that have been left of the machine also poses a danger to the Sisters who risk being electrocuted.

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“The Sisters turned to ACN for help and, thanks to the generosity of our benefactors, we did not disappoint them,” the leadership of the Pontifical aid agency reports, adding that the Sisters have been awarded 21,000.00 Euros to purchase a modern machinery.

With the new machine, ACN projects, the members of HHCJ involved in the host-making project will produce a higher number of hosts to match the growing number of Catholics in the region.

Additionally, the Sisters will work in a safer environment.

“It also means more money available to provide a better formation for the young aspirants and postulants. Sister Christina, the novice mistresses, has expressed her heartfelt thanks to all our benefactors and writes,” ACN leadership has reported.

ACN leadership further reports that the Sisters’ Congregation is attracting many new vocations, especially in Ghana, and as a result a house for Novices belonging to the Religious Order was built in 1983 in the country’s Diocese of Sunyani. It is here that the Sisters provide formation for those who eventually their first vows to become members of HHCJ.

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The sisters have been drawn to different money-making projects to sustain their evangelization ministry, ACN leadership notes, adding that HHCJ members engage in these activities to provide services to the Church.

“Obviously, it is important to provide these Sisters with the best possible formation, but on account of the difficult economic situation it is not easy for a young native Congregation to provide the necessary financial resources to achieve this,” the charity organization reports, adding that to help cover their costs, the Sisters make hosts for several of the Dioceses in the country.

“At the same time, they see this as a service to the Church and as part of their apostolate, for clearly, without hosts there is no Eucharist,” ACN leadership says in reference to HHCJ members.

Members of the Religious Order founded in Nigeria also work in healthcare and education, caring for the poor and disadvantaged and especially for women and girls.

The leadership of ACN reports that the Sisters also work in various other social and pastoral fields.

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