Father Ken has a lot going on, and he wanted us to send out an update to his supporters on each of his many current ministries.
In Southern California, Father Ken has focused on the greater Los Angeles area, primarily throughout the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles where he serves as Priest Chaplain at Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance. He coordinates reimbursements from the Vineyard for out-of-pocket, on-the street expenses for some colleagues who are on the front lines of the battles against human trafficking and are supporting restorative justice in the juvenile and adult prison system including Sister Kathy of the Stop Human Trafficking Project, Sister Margaret with runaway youth in Hollywood, and Father George Horan who works with the convicted and their victims in Los Angeles. Father George’s additional work in Afghanistan was recently highlighted on our website.
Father Ken, of course, continues to work with troubled youth and has supported Grover, from the time Grover was a homeless teenager. Father Ken helped Grover apply for Section 8 housing and he has been on a waiting list for Section 8 housing assistance for over 13 years. You can do the math if you know Father Ken’s assistance started 15 years ago when Grover was 17 and includes housing, transportation, clothing, and food.
In Haiti, after 7 long years of recovery from the 2010 earthquake, construction is underway on dormitories for the students of Institute Monfort. The new buildings will house the 240+ students at the school for the hearing and speech impaired. In Jeremie, Haiti, we recently sent $5,000 to assist with the recovery from Hurricane Matthew which hit the southern towns of Haiti on October 4, 2016. We also sent money for school supplies which went towards purchasing food for the kids as well as some new tablets to assist the students who need more visual learning aids as shown in the picture below.
In Kenya, at St. Vincent de Paul School in Nthare, a generous donor has supported breakfast and lunch every month since October 2016 at a cost of $500 per month for 250 students for two meals a day. Father Linus of the parish requested help for two projects: a multi-purpose facility for Mass, meetings, and assemblies and the construction of a new Rectory since the current one has been converted into a health clinic. The Vineyard also helps to support thirteen Seminarians in their studies in Nairobi.
In South Sudan, the United Nations has estimated that over 1 million people have been internally or externally displaced by the civil war currently raging in the country. Father Ken’s good friend Father John Ngbapia is working long hours trying to shelter and feed the thousands of refugees who have crowded into the various camps and shelters in the area. The Vineyard also is assisting Solidarity with South Sudan, a consortium of 31 different religious orders and lay people on the ground helping refugees and displaced people in the country. On February 20, 2017 the United Nations declared famine conditions in most of the country, saying that 100,000 men, women and especially children were in imminent danger of starvation and a further one million are classified as on the brink of famine.
Pope Francis recently made a strong appeal on behalf of South Sudan on February 22nd saying “with the painful news coming from martyred South Sudan where a fratricidal conflict and severe food crisis condemn to death by starvation millions of people, including many children…Now it is more necessary than ever that all commit not to stop making statements, but also to provide concrete food aid and to allow it to reach suffering populations…May the Lord sustain these our brothers and all those working to help them.” You can help us provide that concrete food aid by donating on our website and specifying “South Sudan” on the donation page.
In Uganda, the Vineyard continues to support Father Abraham Abayo and Father Ignatius “Igo” Mborihenga with funds for trauma workshops and vocational materials and equipment. Many of these efforts were being carried out in South Sudan but were moved across the border for safety reasons.
If you are inspired, touched, or heartbroken by any of these programs, we hope you will consider making a donation to support our efforts. You can donate on our website here and specify which project you would like your funds to benefit by typing the name or region on the donate page by selecting the plus sign.