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Pilgrims dig deep to support overseas mission

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A mobile medical and food program and the education of high school children in Railaco, Timor-Leste, will receive a substantial financial boost thanks to a new project officially launched in Adelaide last month.

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Pilgrims 100 was set up by James and Genevieve Hill from the St Ignatius’ parish earlier this year, as a way of raising funds to support the work of Jesuit Mission overseas.

The initiative seeks to develop a “like-minded community, passionate about helping people living in the margins and suffering the indignity of poverty and injustice”.

The concept is simple – 100 people donate $1000 each for a $100,000 total, with the money then pooled and members voting to determine which projects will receive the funds. The Hills are thrilled that in such a difficult year 71 members have joined and contributed $71,000.

Like many things impacted by the pandemic, the launch of the program was delayed and eventually held last month over two nights to accommodate numbers attending.

On the first evening the Governor of SA Hieu Van Le AC and his wife Mrs Lan Le attended as joint ambassadors of Pilgrims 100. His Excellency commended the initiative and praised the generosity of those in the SA community who have dug deep to help others less fortunate. Helen Forde, CEO of Jesuit Mission, presented the four projects shortlisted for the funds and parish priest Fr Paul Mullins SJ announced Railaco, a village community in the mountain regions of Timor-Leste, as the chosen recipient.

Mr Hill said the Railaco community would benefit greatly from the funding boost.

“Genevieve and I visited Railaco in June 2019 and saw the great work of the Jesuits first hand,” he said.

“The feeding service runs six days a week and supplies meals to about 100 kids in each of the communities. We also accompanied the mobile medical clinic on a visit and the wonderful thing we saw is how it brings the community together when they come in to see Dr Bong (a medical doctor and Jesuit priest).

“We were concerned about how Pilgrims 100 would be received in such a difficult year but we were really heartened by the response from donors and also at the launch seeing the connection that developed between those who attended and their appreciation for what they are a part of.”

Mr Hill said that while many of the supporters were from the St Ignatius’ parish a considerable number were from the wider South Australian community and interstate, but all shared the common goal of helping others in need around the world.

For more information contact James and Genevieve Hill at pilgrims100@jesuitmission.org.au

 

 

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