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Construct a Parish Center for Youth and Family Apostolate in Slovakia
The Parish of St. Stephen wants to build a new building on the parish grounds that will include a hall to accommodate 60 people and other smaller rooms as well. This is where all the activities of the parish would take place in future. Father Peter Sepesi has asked us to help.
Located in eastern Slovakia, just 22 miles or so from the Ukrainian border, the Parish of St. Stephen in Kamenica and Cirochou has 2,600 Catholic faithful. This region is struggling economically, with high unemployment in comparison with other parts of the country. Many children are left with only one of their two parents, because their mother or father has traveled to another part of the country, or even abroad, in search of work to be able to feed the family. This in itself is a major problem and is often the source of great harm for the families. In addition, there are three Roma communities within the parish, and the pastoral and social care of the Roma people is a major challenge for the Catholic Church in Slovakia.
These are just two of the reasons why Father Peter Sepesi is particularly committed to the youth and family apostolate. He organizes gatherings for children and young people and a whole range of other pastoral and social activities. But there is a major problem in that the parish has no suitable premises for such activities. A few years ago, the basement rooms of the presbytery were made available for this purpose, but in reality these two rooms are poorly suited to the purpose, with low ceilings and rooms that are cold, poorly ventilated and poorly lit.
Despite this, they are in daily use, for it is here that the meetings of the youth groups and children‘s groups are held, the Mass servers’ training sessions, the Confirmation classes, the rehearsals for the children‘s choir, the evangelization courses and much more besides. If the numbers are too large, then the meetings are held in the refectory of the primary school – but this must be arranged each time with the school. There are also problems with the summer camps for the children, which the parish organizes each year with tents set up in the parish gardens. If the weather is bad, it is very difficult to find alternative venues for the program and to feed the children.
The parish now wants to build a new building in the parish grounds that will include a hall to accommodate 60 people and other smaller rooms as well. This is where all the activities of the parish would take place in future. Father Peter has asked us to help for the construction of this pastoral center, and we have promised him $55,100.
Will you help Father Peter construct this parish center for youth and family apostolate in this struggling region of Slovakia?