Solidarity and Partnership between Austria and Albania

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Two members Staff of St. Clement's Hofbauer-Committee, Fr. Andrij and Fr. Lorenz

(Vienna, Austria) Since 2017, St. Clement Hofbauer Committee, of the Marienpfarre belonging to the Redemptorist Parish, Mother of Perpetual Help in Vienna-Hernals, as well as the journal of the Redemptorists in Austria “Klemensblätter“, have set their goal to support the European pastoral project of the Redemptorists in Albania. For this, the Rector and the Parish Priest Fr. Lorenz Voith CSsR, together with Fr. Dominic O’Toole CSsR, have visited these parishes in November 2017. With this, the first steps of this partnership had been initiated.

From left to right: Fr. Lorenz, Fr. Andrij and two Members of the parish-council

Fr. Andrij Michon CSsR, Pastor in Albania, has visited Vienna from 16th to 17th of June 2018. During his visit, he provided information regarding the work and the challenges on-site with the help of a picture presentation. Nearly 40% of the population is currently unemployed and there are numerous social and domestic problems.

The Redemptorists are mentoring over 30.000 Catholics in two parishes and four filial communities. Together with a religious nun, they have started a number of projects such as certified Cook and Sewing schools for women, Italian and English Courses for the youth, free kindergarten, tutoring in the after-school care for children and youths, catechism-lessons and summer-weeks, help for really poor families.

Church and “Center” in Kamez/Albania

SMALL CLEMENT CENTER IN KAMEZ

With the first donations from Austria in December 2017, it was possible to provide electricity in the church and the Center in Kamez.  The electricity has been a great soothing during the winter season. The continual support of the filial communities in Kamez should be encouraged by designing the sports field, educating the lay workers, allocating basic materials as well as continuous material assistance for poor families.

Representatives of the St. Clement Hofbauer Committee and the Marienpfarre handed over significant donations for all the above-mentioned plans. The Art projects from Albania have been brought to Vienna, which will be given in exchange for donations to support the work.

Children in Kamz/Albania

THANKS FOR THE SOLIDARITY

Fr. Andrij has offered his gratitude towards the Committee and the Marienpfarre for the solidarity with this pastoral project in Albania. Fr. Lorenz Voith has affirmed the partnership and has invited several youths with their supervisors to Vienna next year. Apart from the financial support the personal relationship between Albania and Austria should also be nurtured and developed. So far, several visits of small groups from Vienna have been planned. Father Lorenz said, “Albania is an almost forgotten country on the Balkans. Therefore, we want to sharpen our vision; this is a special mission especially from us Redemptorists.”

Fr. Lorenz Voith C.Ss.R.

Rector – Redemptoristenkolleg Hernals

Vicar General (Diocese Eisenstadt)

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