Mission Column

Mission Column December 8, 2023

Christmas Appeal

As a child, were you enchanted by Christmas lights? They filled me with joy long before I fully grasped the true meaning of the season. But as I sit down to write to you today, the twinkling lights from my childhood memories seem dim compared to the light of hope you are bringing to the missionary sisters in Ethiopia and the children in their care. 

May I share with you the story of the Maids of the Poor Home for orphaned or abandoned children in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia? Here, young souls scarred by life's hardships find solace. Sister Miriam, a pillar of love and dedication, recently shared, “we pray daily for their sustenance. But many evenings, as I gaze into their innocent eyes, my heart shatters. Often, we lack even the funds to buy them milk.”

But – because of you – there’s hope. Despite the daily struggles to care for these abandoned and orphaned children, there is profound joy and love evident in this home. Through your support, the sisters are transformed into the living embodiment of the Star of Bethlehem providing hope to these children. 

As a member of our mission family, you know of the plight of children in this poorest of nations, where two-thirds go to bed hungry.  This year, you have seen the faces of children traumatized by war in Ukraine and the Holy Land. You know of the daily risk of violence, abuse, and exploitation children face in South Sudan. 

As we embrace the spirit of Christmas, reflecting God's boundless love in our actions, we remember the words of Jesus, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." 

This Christmas, will you include the children of the missions and those who care for their physical and spiritual needs – on your gift list? 

What could be a more meaningful Christmas gift? 

Sister Miriam and the children of the Maids for the Poor Home are most grateful to you and send their love and prayers! With your support, we can bring hope and shine the Gospel's light even brighter. 

I send my own gratitude for your prayers and generous response.  I wish you and your loved ones a blessed Advent season, and pray that we may remain united in His mission, 

Sister Mary Ellen Brett, SSJ