Organised by Poland’s Mission Vehicle Association (MIVA), St. Christopher’s Charity Drive raises money for the purchase of much-needed means of transport that greatly facilitate the work of Catholic missionaries.
Coming as part of the July 21-28 St. Christopher’s Week in Poland, the charity collection emphasizes the importance of safe driving and calls on Catholics to pray for all drivers, especially missionaries.
“During the week we contemplate St. Christopher, whose name in Greek means ‘the bearer of the Cross’, and we show our consideration for Polish missionaries all around the world,” said Bishop Jerzy Mazur, head of the Polish Episcopate’s Missions Commission, adding that “we intend to offer help [to the missionaries] in purchasing means of transport.”
“As in previous years, I send my earnest request to all believers for their participation in the drive,” said the bishop, adding “let us be honestly grateful for God’s protection and help during our travels… let us support preachers of the Gospel on all continents... It is also my request that every parish community organises an appropriate drive for missionary vehicles.”
In 2018, as much as PLN 2.8 mln (EUR 655,000) was collected as part of the action. It is not just wheels that are usually purchased with the money: 40 cars, three buses, two ambulances, two tractors, one electric wheelbarrow, 64 motorcycles and motorbikes, 516 bicycles, two quads, three snowmobiles, three carts and five wheelchairs, three boats and three horses have featured on the shopping list.
The majority of these means of transport were bought for missionaries in Africa, South America and Asia.
The MIVA (Mission Vehicle Association) operates internationally with its headquarters located in various countries supporting each other in the collection of money for missionary vehicles. MIVA Poland has been running since 2000.