Atco parish helps Cameroon youth get heart surgery


The Evangelization and Discipleship Team at Christ the Redeemer Parish, Atco, challenged parishioners to a more meaningful experience of Advent and Christmas this year. It was called the Advent Conspiracy — a four-part challenge to prepare for Christmas 2018 by worshiping fully; by spending less; by giving more; and by loving all.

A major feature of the initiative was to use the savings for life-saving surgery for two individuals, Boris and Claudia, in Cameroon, Africa.

Ultimately, Christ the Redeemer parishioners gave more — enough to add a life-saving surgery for another youth or young adult.

Laurie Power, director of Evangelization and Discipleship at Christ the Redeemer, modeled the Advent Conspiracy endeavor on a similar initiative started in some church circle is recent years.

“Advent and Christmas is consumed by a culture of consumerism. The Advent Conspiracy challenges parishioners to refocus their preparations and celebrations, to revitalize a more intentional Catholic and Christian culture in which Jesus Christ is central,” Power said.

Father Chris Mann, pastor, was inspired by the challenge to love all. “Love must not remain an idle notion. Love must be practical,” he said. “The birth of the Christ Child is practical proof of God’s love for us. What, then, can we do to prove our love for others?”

Tapping into his African missionary roots, Father Mann decided to partner with Franciscan Mission Outreach and a European NGO called Mido.

“Ten thousand and fifty dollars to save three lives is a small price to pay when we consider the price Jesus Christ paid for our salvation,” Father Mann said.

As great as it feels to know three young people’s lives are forever changed, he added, there are many others in Cameroon whose need remains unfulfilled.

For more information about Franciscan Mission Outreach contact Father Herald Brock, C.F.R.,