Newsletter July 2006


It is always a pleasure to bring you, my family and friends, up to date with what is happening on the Missions of Nueva Prosperina, Guayaquil. Indeed, since every day brings you a novelty, it is difficult to fit everything in.

Basically we need money to buy:
• Benches at £30 each.
• Plastic Chairs for the hall – £300.
• Altar and lectern – £1,500
• Church Roof – £2,500

This present edition brings you from Easter to the present moment – July, when I am gearing up to come home to Scotland for my annual preaching assignments to raise funds for the St James’ Society

In this Newsletter:

  • What is happening on the Missions.

  • The concrete floor of the church is finished.

  • More building work at the School.

  • The poor are grateful for the Jimmy Johnstone tops.

  • Fundraising events that I will be attending.

  • Gift – not one but two dogs.

Our Parish School

As if one building site was not enough… we are now continuing to build at the Parish School. Since last I wrote to you, we have inaugurated the new classrooms and the School Chapel. The inauguration itself was a tremendous affair with the Archbishop once again visiting us with his entourage of donors from the U.S.A.

These donors had donated the most money to the project but I would say that over a third of the school building has been funded from Scotland. So, we have started a new year (April) with these new classrooms and a classic-looking chapel (we also use the chapel for a nneeww Saturday Catechism Mass which is always packed). Having said that, with these new buildings the school building programme was only half finished and it was with great excitement that I received from a donor in England enough money to start the next phase. So we are well under way with building three more classrooms (to take us up to nine brick built classes, leaving five classrooms of bamboo housing 250 pupils). We will also be laying a patio / playground to replace the dust / dirty area outside.

Jimmy Johnstone & The Celtic Tops

Obviously being far away from Scotland means that I miss out on a lot of the events back home, but the Internet is brilliant in keeping up to date. I was therefore able to keep track of the sad days at Celtic Park following the death of the ‘greatest Celt ever’ – Jimmy Johnstone. It was tremendous to see the moving tributes, read about the Funeral Mass and processions. As usual at such events, fans came to the football park to lay their own tributes; and in this case, they left loads of signed Celtic tops in tribute to Jimmy. After the funeral was over, Celtic themselves then had a problem – what to do with all these tops. This is where my good friend Joe Bradley came in… he made enquiries and said that he knew a Missionary Priest who could use them. And so, Nueva Prosperina is the proud inheritor of six boxes of Celtic tops – of all shapes and sizes. I have been giving them out in all sorts of ways to children and to adults; sometimes as prizes and sometimes simply to individual groups. Of course people wear football tops here not because they support a certain club but because it is an article of clothing. And so, when I see catechists going up to do the readings or teachers giving classes with a Celtic top on, it is not because they have been converted to the Hoops but because they are poor and they want to wear good quality clothes. I am not sure if the people giving tribute to Jimmy Johnstone meant this to happen, but the poor people here are very grateful.

Read the full July 2006 Newsletter here:

A4 Newsletter (July 2006)

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