Submitted by Phil Callaghan, Chair LAMP
I will attempt an annual report for the Latin American Mission Program as a litany of thanksgiving. I hope in this endeavor to omit no one. If that occurs please forgive this shortcoming.
LAMP thanks the people of the Diocese of Charlottetown for their annual generosity which is the basis for the funding of our work at home and in the Dominican Republic. This is reflected each year in your contribution to the Share Lent Collection.
LAMP thanks the many people of various Island communities who participated so generously this year in LAMP’s two major activities; the Daniel O’Hanley Lecture in the Fall and the Mission Education Program in the Spring.
LAMP gives thanks for our 28th annual Daniel O’Hanley guest speakers, the Honorable David MacDonald and Judy Clark, Mi’kmaq leader and elder for leading us in exploring ‘Indigenous Rights and the Challenges of Climate Change’. We are grateful for the rich presentation and discussion which followed. It brought us to a greater awareness of the intersectionality of the Indigenous peoples of the world and the climate crisis.
LAMP thanks our Mission Education Program guest speaker, Ann Wheatley for her insightful, challenging and thought provoking talk which cemented many of the contributions arising from the round table discussions. Exploring and exposing the root causes and symptoms of the climate crisis gave rise to further commitments to the ongoing struggle being waged by so many groups. LAMP is also thankful to Julie Pelissier-Lush, PEI Poet Laureate for the spirit of the Mi’kmaq present to us in her opening and closing ceremonies of the mission education program. This spirit infused all present with its energy and grace.
LAMP thanks our dear friend and brother, Ryan McRae for being our primary witness this past year to LAMP’S mission in the Dominican Republic. Ryan’s two main working partners have been La Fundacion Mujer Iglesia in Santiago and Ciudad Alternativa in Santo Domingo. During the course of this year, Ryan has been engaged in the struggles of the Dominican people directly affected by Barrick Gold, a Canadian multinational gold mining corporation. Ryan’s work specifically related to Barrick Gold’s mining operations in the area of Pueblo Viejo.
LAMP thanks our Dominican partners, friends and organizations for their welcoming and enriching of Ryan’s mission life and experience. In particular LAMP thanks Wendy Alba, Ana Rose Betances and Dona Lidia Amarante. LAMP is grateful to Ryan for his rich monthly reports on activities, relationships and work among the Dominican people. Some of his reports are available on the Diocesan LAMP website.
LAMP thanks its core members at our monthly gatherings. In these we continue our faithful witness to the Gospel of the Christ of the Universe. We are enriched by the many encounters experienced within these meetings. LAMP thanks in particular its executive members for taking up and fulfilling their responsibilities this past year.
LAMP thanks that great cloud of witnesses who are always present to us in our ongoing work for a more just and peaceful world. They say ‘presente’ to this love and our love for each other.
Finally in this litany, LAMP gives thanks to the poor, marginalized, refugees, homeless of our world for their courage and hope in which we find the identity of our Christ.
In the Spirit of Christ we make this thanksgiving.