The Mission Office Annual Collection will take place the weekend of Sept. 17 and 18 and is an opportunity for the people of Central Florida to support the good work being done in the Sister Diocese of San Juan de la Maguana through educational efforts, pastoral services, construction projects, and medical assistance. This year they have set a goal of raising $500,000, the largest amount yet.
“The biggest project right now is the high school residency program because we’ve gone from 28 students to 41 students and it takes a lot just to feed and clothe them and find the people to supervise them,” explained Sister Bernadette Mackay, O.S.U., Director of the Mission Office. “We hope this year to be able to start a vocational program to provide them with classes in electricity, mechanics, home economics, computer science and economics.”
Sister Bernadette explained that while all the students graduate with the academic ability to attend university, even if they receive scholarships, few can afford the housing costs. Even for those who can, there is often a 6 month to 1 year waiting period before they can begin. The vocational program would help fill that gap and offer career options.
“The expense of starting and maintaining the vocational program is high,” explained Sister Bernadette. “Also, presently we only have 2 dormitories that are filled to capacity. Our hope is to be able to build more dormitories to eventually house up to 80 students.”
“The generosity of the people in the diocese over the past years has created a hopeful vision of a new tomorrow. Their continued generosity will help advance meaningful developments in our Sister Diocese,” said Sister Bernadette.
For more information on how to support the Mission Office with mission trips, donations, or volunteer work, visit https://www.orlandodiocese.org/ministries-offices/mission-office