From Co. Wicklow to South Sudan: Reaching out across the miles - Missionaries of the Sacred Heart
26 Jan 2023

Heartfelt thanks to the community of Blessington Parish in Co. Wicklow, who collected a generous donation for our own Fr Alan Neville MSC, to support his current ministry in Rumbek, South Sudan.

Each year, a crib exhibition takes place in Blessington Parish Centre, with cribs on display representing different places and cultures all over the world. Local parishioners and clergy each donate their own unique crib to the exhibition, with over 100 cribs on display this year during the three-day exhibit from December 17th to 20th 2022.

A real community affair, the exhibition involves locals of all ages, with a reach far beyond the parish spanning cultures from across the globe. “There is a multicultural aspect to the display, as the cribs come from every continent,” Blessing Parish reports. “Local schoolchildren are invited to the exhibition and part of the enjoyment is observing the variety of materials used in the designs.”

The 2022 exhibition raised a total of €200, which was generously donated to Fr Alan in support of his work in South Sudan. This came in addition to another donation of a further €200, raised at a special Harvest Mass in Lacken Church, also in Blessington Parish, last November.

Fr Alan is currently ministering in South Sudan, working with both the Loreto primary and secondary schools and the Catholic University in Rumbek to promote truly vital education and empowerment for young women in a region where forced marriages are all too unfortunate a reality, and a teenage girl is more likely to die in childbirth than graduate from secondary school. This wonderful contribution from Blessington Parish is a real gift to Fr Alan and the Rumbek community, in a gesture of friendship that reinforces the inestimable power of kindness and unity across the miles.

Images courtesy of Carmel O’Neill at Blessington Parish.