Friday, May 04, 2007

Easter Appeal

[Fr. Purdy sent me this a month ago. I thought of publishing it here so that many people would read this. Please forward this to others as well. It’s never too late to give donations. So please donate too. Thanks! – Editor’s note ]

St. Bernard Novitiate Easter Appeal

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

St. Bernard Novitiate is a house of formation for the Brothers of the Society of St. Pius X. The formation of Religious vocations, as well as assisting in the formation of Priestly vocations is the very reason of being of the Society of St. Pius X, established by His Grace Archbishop Lefebvre. These vocations bring countless graces to Holy Mother Church, likewise countless graces to you as members of the Church.

The Novitiate is located in the central part of the Philippines, set in the agrarian countryside. The main means of supporting ourselves is a farm. On this farm the brothers work with the raising of pigs and fruit trees (mainly bananas). The work is quite conducive to the formation of religious and can be likened to the monasteries of the Middle Ages.

There are several projects which are put on hold due to lack of funds. Our piggery needs to be expanded for the growing number of pigs. Expanding the piggery will allow us to have more sows, which in turn means more piglets to sell to support ourselves in the future.

Our water system needs an overhaul. Our water pressure is very weak, there are many leaks in the line, and it is time we revamp the filtration system to ensure clean water. That will mean constructing a new pump-house and putting new tanks in the house to give good pressure. Many water lines will also need to be redone due to the number of leaks.

These past couple of weeks we have been working on a long-needed renovation of the main floor of the building. The walls dividing the various rooms had been constructed in a temporary way, being made of rice board. Rice board is two inches thick, containing rice straw in the interior. Unfortunately, termites find a welcome home in them, as also does the humidity of the wet season. In this renovation new walls of concrete have been made. New doors are also being put in. However, the costs of completing the project are more than we can shoulder, especially the new floor. At present, the floor is concrete and awaiting new tile. The brothers and priests have worked together to save as much as possible in labor costs. Things that require professional work require us to hire masons and tile workers.

Our house is likewise in desperate need of painting. Concrete hollow blocks in the Philippines are made very cheaply, and due to severe weather changes of wet and dry and intense heat, unless properly maintained, the house crumbles down around us. It is a job we intend to do ourselves. However, the Novitiate is a large building and will need many gallons of paint. The need is pressing, for it is a task that must be accomplished during the dry season, which ends by the end of May!

The upstairs, which now houses all the brothers, has many rooms which need to be completed. This has been a project dragged out for months due to little funding.

There is the intention of moving our laundry room to a more convenient location than in the kitchen. In order to accomplish this we will also have to redo the water lines. The laundry room at present is about the size of most American bathrooms, this to accommodate 20 members of the community!

During this Easter Season, we make an appeal to you for your financial assistance. Many of you are familiar with our needs; many have seen the pictures and presentation of our life here. Our livelihood depends entirely upon you, our dear benefactors. Very little assistance comes to us from within the Philippines, being such a poor country. Our Mother House in Menzingen provides us with a monthly allowance. With a community of 20 members, the allowance just covers our monthly food bill. All of the other bills (electric, phone, wages for our workers, weekly diesel consumption, simple repairs and maintenance, etc., etc.) often put us in a very difficult situation.

In return for your generosity we continue to remember you in our prayers. Also, I will offer a novena of Masses for the success and thanksgiving for this appeal during the Octave of Pentecost. The intention will be specifically for those who contribute to this appeal.

Wishing you a holy Paschaltide.

In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Adam Purdy

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