Below is an email received from Fr. Greg Schaffer, Pastor of the Venezuelan Mission: Jesucristo Resucitado in Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela.
“I thought I would try to update you on the situation in Venezuela. The political and economic situations are very volatile throughout the country. Where the mission is located, it costs 4 days’ wages (minimum wage) to buy one chicken for a family to eat. It takes 2 days’ salary to by a kilo of beef or fish. It costs 2 days’ salary to buy a bag of rice. Such basic goods as shampoo, toilet paper, deodorant, toothpaste, soap and washing detergent are very hard to find. Many people are struggling to survive. In the most extreme circumstances people are surviving just on the mangoes that fall from the trees.
With the help of the funds from the Catholic Services Appeal, we can sustain our Parish Soup Kitchen that is providing lunches for 46 people, Monday through Friday, most of whom are elderly or families with many children, including 11 orphans. Money from the Catholic Services Appeal also supports the work of our St. Vincent de Paul Conference that serves the poorest of the poor in our parish by visiting them on a weekly basis with three doctors and providing them with their own particular needs such as medicine, food, adult diapers, wheelchairs, beds or whatever basic goods they may need. In these difficult times in Venezuela, funds from the Catholic Services Appeal are making a difference.”