Apostolate of Packages for the Philippines
What kind of apostolate?
Our Polish community in the Parish of St. Mary Immaculate in Plainfield regularly ships packages with clothes, children’s toys and dry food to poor families and children. It is a simple way for our apostolate to reach others, especially those who are in need.
Why the Philippines?
I worked as a missionary in the Philippines for twelve years. I was assigned to a parish with thirty villages on the island of Mindanao. I did my best to visit every chapel (every village) every other month. During my ministry in that parish I had a chance to meet many wonderful people, many of them faithful Christians, who are quite poor. This is especially true of those who live in the mountains, in the places that are remote. While they have very little, they do not ask for help. I noticed that they eat once a day and have a very simple life-style. It was my initiative to organize some help for them.
How did it begin?
When I was still in the Philippines we began to form so-called Dehonian Youth Missions. It was done regularly twice a year. We organized and trained young people in the chapels which were better settled. We helped them to prepare and organize a ten-day mission trip to the most remote and neglected chapels in our parish. The task of the youth was to visit every house, talk to the families and gather the youth from that village during the mission. Then, a local youth group in that particular community was organized. Additionally, we brought them food, clothes and gifts for the children. Often we had doctors and nurses with us. As missionaries, we were carrying on our pastoral work during the same time. It was quite a successful collaboration and team work. In fact, we were learning and receiving many spiritual benefits from the humble people.
Since I have been assigned to the USA, I now organize some help for the Dehonian Youth from here. I am glad that the youth and missionaries, my friends, continue their ministry in the most remote places in the Philippines. To these day, these Dehonian Youth Missions continue and spread to other parishes.
How do we do it in Plainfield?
We collect clothes, dry food and toys for children. The clothes do not need to be new, but must be clean and in good condition. The clothes must be for summer and petite people. Any kind of toys are good. The children in the remote places in the Philippines have none and so appreciate any thing.
There is a group of volunteers in our parish in Plainfield who collect, store, select and pack goods given by others. We send the packages twice a year to the Dehonian Youth in my former parish. The youth sort and distribute them to the most needed during their missions. It works well. It is our simple apostolate and we have a big part of the missions in the Philippines.
The cost of shipping?
Each family who bring clothes or toys should contribute to the cost of shipping. Usually two, three or four families collect things and money for one package. One package is quite large (the weight does not matter) and costs $65.00. Global Cargo Movers, a Filipino shipping company which helps us to deliver our packages to the parish in Cagayan de Oro, is the most economical at this moment.
You are very welcome to join us in our apostolate.
Contact persons: Barbara – phone: 815 582 6367; Fr. Andrew – phone: 312 647 8783.