WORKS OF MERCY AND HUMANITARIAN PROJECTS
In the spirit of the Beatitudes, we are called to serve the poor and the sick in works of compassion, charity and humanitarian aid.
This sensitivity encouraged the apostolate take on different forms :
Works of compassion …
- Welcoming the poor and the sick in our houses
“We should also recognize the Emmanuel in every man, in each little one who asks for a glass of water. This is why we will give room and board to whoever comes, and honor especially our Lord the poor, for whom there is no shelter in the hearts of men.” (Book of Life, no. 10)
The practice of hospitality and almsgiving is an integral part of our lives. In most of our houses, we make a space for welcoming people in difficulty. Several houses work with the town hall or social services of the city.
Our house in Saint Broladre (35) welcomes several people with either a physical or psychologhical disability, the poor, the little ones, those who are excluded. This life of simplicity, work and fraternity in an atmosphere of prayer is a resource to help everyone grow in maturity and self-confidence.
The Foyer Saint Vincent de Paul in Pont-Saint-Esprit (30) provides a 24/7 reception service for people with social difficulties.
- Listening, advising and helping
Some houses in France, for example in Valcluse (06), provide a listening service, it can take on a presence in prisons and visiting the sick.
The Camille de Lellis Fraternities, an association in the spirit of compassion, provides a process of inner healing to those in difficulty.
- Helping children and youth
The Hospital of Kabinda in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, takes care of malnourished children.
In Germany, the house of Saint-Rafaël takes care of children with heavy disabilities 24/7.
In Vietnam, at the Tan Thong Orphanage, 90 children and adolescents are welcomed (deaf mute, physically or mentally handicapped). In Saigon and its suburbs, the Community runs two student houses to help young boys and girls with their college studies.
- Helping women in distress
In Mali, in Bamako, the Community welcomes young mothers in distress, who have been rejected by their communities. They stay during their pregnency and the time they need to acquire their autonomy. This house allows them to receive training on hygiene, literacy, and craftwork for reintegration.
In Spain, the Community is in charge of a diocesan home for single pregnant women.
- Fighting the world’s diseases
Like St. Francis of Assisi, the Community desires to gaze upon the leprosy of the world, with all of the physical, moral and psychological illnesses of a humanity that is often hopeless. Alleviating their miseries is seen not as humanitarian work, but as a loving kiss in the name of He who took upon Himself the suffering of men.” (Book of Life, no. 11)
In 1982, the Community’s first mission to Africa was the Hospital of Kabinda in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In a very isolated area, far from major urban centers, this establishment cares for a population of 264,000 inhabitants spread over an area of 7,600 square miles. Now a General Hospital, serving as a reference, it has 225 beds divided into 6 units: male and female medicine, surgery, maternity, neonatal and pediatrics with an “intensive therapeutic nutritional unit” (UNTI) which manages cases of severe malnutrition.
- In Mbuji Mayi, in the DRC, the provincial capital of two million inhabitants, the Community has also set up a major ophthalmology medical center. It is the only specialized establishment in a territory of 118,000 miles (190,000 km), populated by 8 million inhabitants. It was established in 2006 and has been under reconstruction since 2013 to provide a better environment to welcome patients. Each year 18,000 patients are treated, 1,600 are operated on, including more than 1,000 for cataracts. Dr. Richard Hardi, a lay member of the Community, is the only specialist within a 311 mile (500 km) radius.
- The Community of Beatitudes also runs a clinic in Bangui, Central Africa Republic.
- In Peru, next to the parish of Callao, there a dental office at a reduced price for the disadvantaged population.
The NGO International Alliances
To support its humanitarian work, in 1986 the Community founded an NGO, “Alliances Internationales.” Its mission is to support charitable and humanitarian projects in developing countries. These missions are carried out by the Community of the Beatitudes, or by the local associations of which it is a partner. In France, it is recognized as « Association de Soutien et de Bienfaisance » by the prefectural authorities, which allows it to receive donations.
In 2015, “Alliances Internationales” created the Talitha Foundation, hosted by the Caritas-France Foundation, which is entitled to receive donations from the IFI (Real Estate Wealth Tax).
The apostolic life of the Community of the Beatitudes is also…