Pastor's Corner 071413

posted Jul 24, 2013, 11:55 AM by Music Director

I would like to talk this week about a new initiative that is getting underway here at St. Charles.  Several parishioners are trying to organize a two-week medical mission trip to the town of Paidha, Uganda next spring.  Paidha is a small town in northwestern Uganda about a mile from Fr. Vincent’s home village of Giira.  After hearing about life in Uganda from Fr. Vincent and the firsthand accounts of parishioners who traveled there last year, our Pastoral Council and I fully embrace and endorse this project as part of our parish’s social outreach efforts.    

While in Uganda last July, our parishioners had the opportunity to meet with the Mayor of Paidha and spoke with him about how they might help to bring needed development to the town.  About a month after returning home they received an email from the Mayor requesting medical help for the people of his community.

Medical services in Paidha are very limited.  They include a small staff of 8 nurses and 2 lab assistants in a 5-room facility that serves 300,000 people in the town and surrounding villages.  They can only provide very basic services such as first aid and the treatment of minor ailments and common diseases.  They have no x-ray, ultrasound, CT scan or MRI equipment for diagnosing serious conditions.   There are no ambulances.   The closest hospital is 20 miles away and traveling there is not easy.  People must often wait 3 days or more before a doctor can arrive.  Many avenues of support were investigated, including contact with Doctors Without Borders; but getting on their list takes a lot of time, and the few medical missions in Uganda are mainly centered around its capital city of Kampala. 

The immediate goal of this initiative is to bring an 8-person medical team consisting of 2 doctors, a nurse practitioner, and other nurses to this region from May 31- June 16 2014.   They will provide primary care to adults, adolescents and children.  Malaria, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, pregnant women with complications, accident cases, eye complications and skin conditions are only some of the diseases/ conditions they will be treating.  

Our extended goal is to send a team on an annual and eventually semi-annual basis, depending on how many doctors and other medical personnel we can recruit to be a part of the team.   Yes, the task sounds daunting; but with your help this is something we CAN do.

I invite you to be a part of this noble effort and support it in any way you can.   Service includes donating and collecting over-the-counter medicines & prescription drugs; fundraising; preparation of the spiritual program; advertising/publicity for fundraisers; packaging of supplies, etc.  We hope to form a fund-raising committee, logistics committee, medical committee (stateside), travel committee and cost committee.

In next week’s parish bulletin there will be a sign-up sheet listing all the various ways you can help.   For more information on how to get involved, please contact Dick and Marie Schmitt 856-435-1629 or  schmitt31895@comcast.net

There is much to do, but with God’s Blessings and the goodness of the caring and compassionate people of our parish community here at St. Charles we CAN accomplish great things!  God bless you!

‘Amen I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ -Matthew 25: 40

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