Olancho Aid Foundation and the Diocese of Juticalpa
Partners in Faith: Catholic Values in Action
by Dr. Susan Nedza
The Olancho Aid Foundation remains committed to supporting the Diocese of Juticalpa and its mission during these difficult times and in the future. For over twenty years, our partnership with the Diocese first under the leadership of Bishop Tómas Muldoon, OFM and now Bishop Jóse Bonello, OFM has flourished. This has included the construction of Catholic schools, expansion of the purified water projects in rural communities, and continued Catholic education in the community. The generosity of our donors has provided funding for our educational initiatives, renovating parish churches and facilities, and deployment of volunteers to support religious education. It has been through the generosity of the Diocese that we have been gifted with religious sisters who have served at Santa Clara elementary school. Most recently, the Bishop has assigned Fr. Celio Mencias to support our projects, to provide mass to our students and to represent the Bishop as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors.
The partnership has been critical in amplifying the ability of the Foundation to respond to the pressing needs of the community since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This allowed us to provide support beyond the families we currently serve through our schools and to provide donations to the religious orders and parishes that extend into the community. The Diocese covers 9,042 square miles, consists of fourteen parishes, works with fourteen religious orders and thus increases the impact of donations. The diocesan infrastructure is critical now, as movement is severely restricted and we can’t reach communities directly. The message to the community is that the Church, the Diocese of Juticalpa and the Olancho Aid Foundation are with them during these difficult times.
OAF is committed to being transparent in how donations are utilized. We recognize our fiduciary responsibility to donors to ensure that their preferences are honored and their donations result in the greatest good. Now and in the future, our mission remains to continue supporting Catholic-based services that will help Olanchanos stay healthy, and stay together as families and to have the option stay home in Honduras.
For further details on how donations have been utilized during the pandemic, please consider reading this article about OAF’s response in Crux, a leading international Catholic news source.