Jamaica 6
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The thought of spending years on a tropical island in the Caribbean may sound like a dream come true. Long, sunny days spent sipping fruity drinks out of a coconut shell as the ocean waves lap at the soft, sandy beaches – it sounds like paradise.

But that’s not the reality for many of the people living on the islands or the SVD missionaries who work in ministry there. In fact, it couldn’t be farther from it.

“In truth, Jamaica is a beautiful island,” said Fr. Frank Power, SVD. “There are beautiful mountains, you’ve got beautiful beaches, beautiful vegetation and forests. But that doesn’t feed the people.”

As the parish priest at Our Lady of Assumption Church in Morant Bay on the island of Jamaica, Fr. Frank sees firsthand how poverty and unemployment impact the Jamaican people.

The island is divided into 14 civic parishes. Fr. Frank’s church is in the St. Thomas parish, which is the poorest and most undeveloped on the island. It’s made up of roughly 300 square miles and home to about 90,000 people. Just 1 percent of the St. Thomas parish population is Catholic.

Posted at “The Missionary Minute” – Sept. 2019

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