To all the Faithful of the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The coming Lent is an occasion to meditate on charity and to express our solidarity with our
brothers and sisters in need.
Charity is at the heart of the Christian kerygma. We see in the life of Jesus Christ the perfect
example of caring for the downtrodden and the marginalized, spiritually and materially. For the
Lord, the act of giving is a transforming experience that penetrates the soul. He cited in the
story of the generous widow that giving should come not from one's surplus wealth but straight
from the heart (cf. Mk. 12:41-44}. Years later, Mother Teresa would go as far as saying, "give
until it hurts."
Every parish in the world is confronted with the harsh realities of sickness, poverty and loss.
This is perhaps more pronounced in our parishes which are a temporary home to thousands of
poor migrant workers. While we recognize our parishes' limited financial resources, this should
not hinder us from supporting charity works.
This year, I am asking you once again to express your fraternity with the needy by giving them
your Lent offerings. What we had collected last Lent was spent only for cases of extreme need.
The whole amount was administrated by me personally, for people who were in a very difficult
situation . Now, I invite you to be generous also during Lent of this year. You know that what
you give to the poor is not given to them but to Jesus Christ himself, who said: "Amen, I say to
you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me" (Mt 25:40).
May God reward you for your bounty and bless you and your family.
Camillo Ballin, mccj
Apostolic Vicar of Northern Arabia