For the second time during the administration of Fr. Tomaž Mavrič the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the Holy See has responded positively to a request from Fr. Tomaž to help the Vincentian Solidarity Office fund a project, this time for the Region of Rwanda – Burundi. The project is an interesting partnership arranged by our Confreres Fr. Jean de Dieu NIZEYIMANA and Fr. Samuel Ngendakumana with BEGECA (Private Limited Company for Procurement for Church-related, Charitable and Social Institutions) to purchase and install a small light powered by a solar panel in 60 households of their parish. Where electricity is plentiful and lighting abundant, it is hard to imagine trying to accomplish something at night without adequate lighting. This small light will help the household use the nighttime hours for cooking, study, reading, performing manual labor, and improving hygiene. The families will be chosen from the devout households of the parish. The recipients will receive two days of training about how to manage their new lighting system.

You will notice that the backdrop for the picture features Fratelli Tutti, the new Encyclical Letter from Pope Francis. Ambassador Mathew Lee explained that the government of Taiwan has taken on the challenge of the Pope by his use of the parable of the Good Samaritan. We cannot remain only with many words and explanations. Rather, we are to act on behalf of those in need. The check is a clear sign of their commitment to act.

After the formal ceremony of giving over the check, Ambassador Mathew Lee invited us to share in a lunch. The arrangement was COVID proofed by a table divided by Plexiglas shields. We were treated to a box lunch of the same type that the Embassy donated to serve the poor through the efforts of Konrad Cardinal Krajewski, the Almoner of the Office of Papal Charities. Also during the lunch conversation, Ambassador Lee heard Fr. Tomaž talk of rescheduling a 2020 trip to the Rwanda Burundi Mission to sometime in 2021 and Ambassador Lee asked if he could join Fr. Tomaž in this trip!

Fr. Miles Heinen, cm
Assistant General