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Fr. John’s Tin Opener

Prior to his departure to the mission in South Sudan last October Fr. John left savings boxes in many homes over a wide area and the idea was that loose change be deposited there and that sometime in the future there would be a night when all boxes would be handed in and the money counted and then used for a project in South Sudan. That night was Sunday September 8th in St. Mellans and the start was at 6pm. From then for five hours there was a constant stream of people calling, handing in their boxes, having a cup of tea, having a chat with neighbours, enjoying the entertainment and wishing Fr. John well in his Mission, to which he returns within the week. With a huge team of ‘Counters’ and some technology the coins and paper money was counted and a running total published on a projected screen and by the close of the night the total had reached €13,500. What a marvellous sum and few missed the money they had dropped into the Box every so often. This, we can be very assured, will be well spent and will bring great benefits to life for the people around the South Sudan mission led by Fr. John. They say that the Lord always returns our charity one hundred fold but the satisfaction of knowing that our small donation will have such a beneficial effect on fellow humans elsewhere is sufficient to give us that ‘feel good’ factor. We wish Fr. John good health to continue the fantastic work he is doing in South Sudan and hopefully we can continue to support that work. Nuala Kerr, mother of the late Ronan Kerr, presented a check of £5,047.00 from the Ronan Kerr Fund to Fr. John and thanked all who who had helped to raise that money. See below for more news


Hi Everyone,

Greetings once again from Mapuordit. I arrived here a few days ago via Ethiopia. Found everything and everyone in good form and happy to see me back here. The rains have been a blessing for the farmers and the crops are very good this year. However, they have played havoc with the roads and it was quite a nightmare journey getting back to my home base of Mapuordit but made it through the washed away roads and now working with the students to bring in the harvest of green peas, groundnuts, maize and sorghum(local food that resembles barley).

I was surprised to find that our cook had lost all her hair – she said that someone had “clenched their teeth at her” meaning that they cursed her –which is very common here. She is in the process of paying a witch doctor to have the curse removed.

Many, many thanks to all who contributed to the great night we had at the “Box In” night in St.Mellans. The “Small Change box collection to bring about Big Change in South Sudan” yielded a staggering 15.300 euro which is quite an incredible amount. Thank You one and all.

Will keep you updated on how we are utilising the money and how life is progressing here. Internet is very iffy at present due to the poor weather conditions – so may not be able to keep you updated on a regular basis for the present. This will last for the next month or so.

Many blessings.