The people in the “land of a thousand volcanoes” have always lived with the risk that the earth could open up or erupt at any moment. In a figurative sense, this also applies to the political and social situation in Nicaragua. The consequences of the pension cuts announced in 2018 continued to be felt in 2019: thousands gathered in protests. There were also outbreaks of violence, with the military killing several hundred people over the past two years.
ACN does not intervene in political issues, but our foundation supports the Church in Nicaragua in mediating between the parties involved in conflicts. After Haiti, Nicaragua is the poorest country in Latin America. Often it is only the Church that stands up for the poorest people. Their courageous commitment for the poor and weak gives many people new hope for an improvement of their living conditions. In addition, the Church offered shelter from violence to thousands of young people during the dramatic crisis from April to July 2018. ACN understands the social role the Church plays in Nicaragua in addition to its pastoral mission, and will continue to assist the local Church there, e.g. in the formation of priests.
Although seminaries do not currently need to worry about filling positions, the young priesthood candidates cannot be adequately provided with the necessary food and learning materials. ACN is helping them. Beyond helping seminarians, we also support the pastoral activities of the local Church. This includes the construction of community centres and the procurement of new vehicles. In total, about 40 requests for aid with a total volume of nearly half a million euros were approved for the Church in Nicaragua.
We all know about the social role of the Church in Nicaragua.
Father Francisco Tigerino, rector of the national interdiocesan seminary of Our Lady of Fatima, is grateful for the solidarity of ACN’s benefactors: “What impresses me most is that we receive support from people located on the other side of the world, people we will certainly never meet. They do so because we are one Church, out of love for the kingdom of God. With their help and with God’s help, we will continue to train people and thereby advance the work of the Church.”