7. OUTREACH PROJECTS TO THE POOR, SICK AND NEEDY PEOPLE
Then the King will say to the people on his right, “Come you that are blessed by my Father! Come and possess the kingdom which has been prepared for you ever since the creation of the world.I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me to drink ;I was a stranger and you received me in your homes, naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me, in prison and you visited me. The righteous will then answer him, “When Lord did we ever see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? When did we ever see you a stranger and welcome you in our homes, or naked and clothe you? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you? The King will reply, “I tell you, whenever you did this for one of the least important of these people of mine, you did it for me.” Then he will say to those on his left, “Away from me, you that are under God’s curse. Away to the eternal fire which has been prepared for the Devil and his angels .I was hungry but you would not feed me, thirsty but you would not give me a drink.” (Matthew 25, 34 – 42).
Parishioners should give support to outreach projects in their parishes by initiating some as well as co-ordinating others through a parish Justice and Peace Committee. Projects such as sewing, poultry, gardening, fish ponds, tree planting, animal rearing should be considered to raise funds and empower the needy people in the parish where possible. Through our health care ministries, we touch people’s lives, not only materially but holistically – body –mind – spirit. We wish to see our “spiritual teams” being supportive especially of the bereaved and the sick as well as reaching out to the orphans, the vulnerable and refugees in the parishes. The “Called to Serve” ministers need on-going nourishment and formation for them to continue in their works of mercy. Bible ministry should be integrated into all organised ministries involved in different works of mercy. Home visiting by priests and religious encourage lapsed Catholics to return to the Catholic community.
In the spirit of the Beatitudes, preferential attention is to be given to the poor, the hungry, the sick – for example ,those with AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria – to the stranger, the disadvantaged, the prisoner,the immigrant who is looked down upon, the refugee – displaced person..The response to these people’s needs in justice and charity depends on everyone. Africa expects this attention from the whole human family as from herself. However, it will have to begin by resolutely implementing political, social and administrative justice at home; this is part of the political culture needed for developmentand for peace. For her part, the Church will make her specific contribution on the basis of the teaching of the Beatitudes. (Africae Munus, 27).