Collecting money from churches to support poorer churches in other places is an ancient practice, being first mentioned in some of St. Paul’s epistles (1 Cor 16:1–4; 2 Cor 8:1–9:15; Rom 15:14–32). That practice has continued to the current day, with churches in more prosperous areas called on to provide aid to churches in many places around the world that suffer from poverty and other hardships, and to support the work of different organizations which serve in such places.
St. Thomas has been blessed many times by having opportunities to support these kinds of mission outreaches. In particular, our parish has developed long-standing relationships with several such outreaches, and our congregation has warmly received their representatives and generously supported their work. The following briefly describes several of the most notable outreaches we have supported in this way.
Fr. Francis Muhenda Adyeeri is a priest in the Diocese of Fort Portal in western Uganda. He worked for a number of years at Saints Peter and Paul parish in Butunduuzi in the Diocese of Fort Portal. St. Thomas parish began supporting his work in 2008, after his first visit here, and we have continued to do so since then. In 2015, Bishop Robert Muhiirwa assigned Fr. Francis to a newly-formed parish, St. Joseph in Kyamatanga. Click here to read more about Fr. Francis and St. Joseph parish, and to support that work.
Naomi Corera, a native of Sri Lanka and a long-time parishioner at St. Thomas, has had a decades-long career as a teacher and principal in Catholic Schools. Some years ago, at the invitation of some Ugandan priests, she visited the country to see the conditions at a school there. After that visit, she returned to Ann Arbor inspired to work toward establishing and improving the school she visited. That resulted in an organization named Children Waiting Everywhere, has now expanded that work to include additional projects in Uganda, as well as in Kenya and Sri Lanka. Click here to read more about some of their projects, and to support their work.