Radio Maria Auxiliadora Serves Argentina

In the somewhat lengthy-named diocese of “San Roque de Presidencia Roque Sáenz Peña” in the remote Chaco province of northern Argentina, radio is perhaps the most important means of communication. For this is one of the poorest dioceses in the country and one with a host of different social problems and conflicts. Many children suffer grave malnutrition, and „the poverty here is no less than in Africa“, says Father Adolfo Kocka, a local parish priest. The majority of the region is covered in a jungle, known not without reason as „El Impenetrable“. Many of the settlements are relatively – and in some cases completely – inaccessible. There is no telephone network, and the mobile phone signal will not penetrate through the dense rainforest. Hence radio is the most important means of communication.

For twenty years now the Catholic radio station „Radio Maria Auxiliadora“ has been providing a precious service in the region, helping the priests in their daily ministry. It is not only a vital instrument of the Church‘s pastoral outreach but also an indispensable means of communication and information generally. During the coronavirus pandemic, people all over the world have gained a new awareness of the importance of the means of social communication both for the Church and for society generally. But here in this vast and inaccessible region, the need is every much as great even during „normal“ times.

Unfortunately, though, the radio mast was recently badly damaged by lightning, reducing its range to just 13miles or so (20 km). Needless to say, this was a bitter blow.

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Catholic Church in UK at Center of Community Serving Meals During Pandemic

Aina Omo-Bare welcomes everyone at Idia’s Kitchen. Three times a week Aina cooks for up to 40 people at St Monica’s RC Church in Hoxton with the support of local businesses and Catholic charity Caritas Westminster in the UK. The food, which is free to anyone who needs it, is helping to reduce food waste and bring people together into a supportive community where lives can be changed.

Aina is well known in the Catholic community of St Monica’s and the wider area. The idea for Idia’s Kitchen, which is named after Aina’s late daughter, came to Aina after she saw food wasted at the college kitchen where she worked as a chef until December last year.

Aina began using food that would have been binned and cooked and distributed it at St Monica’s parish hall. The project quickly grew and came to the attention of Caritas Westminster, who helped Aina find new sources of food and funding. This included linking her with Hackney Council’s food distribution scheme and the Gubay Foundation, who provided a grant of £1000.

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