M.O.P. Apostolates in Jamaica
Faith Center, the MOP’s first Apostolate, opened in September1984, while the brothers had a connection with the Jamaica Self-Help Foundation. They were the primary source of funds for those early years. They also made friendships with some Catholic Canadians who came down and were living in Jamaica as volunteers. This was John and Rosemarie Ganley from Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. Other benefactors continue to build up over the years because people came to know about Brothers of the Poor, the works in the slums, in the ghetto, Faith Center, Jacob’s Well, the works in the prisons, Gun Court, Eventide Home. That had good will to it that gave them a lot of clout to ask for funds and people just came forward with donations.
In August 1987, Jacob’s Well was established at 74 Hanover Street as a place of shelter for 75 destitute adults and has now more than 80 old women, physically and mentally retarded residents.
In November 1990, an unused warehouse at 59-61 Tower Street, was acquired and converted into Good Shepherd, a night shelter for 40 street people. It became obvious then that the cries for “help” far exceeded the capacity of the Brothers, as the number of residents rose beyond 70 men, who were abandoned, elderly, mentally and physically disabled.
As poverty worsened and many more homeless asked to come in, the Institute opened The Lord’s Place in November 1994. Located at 34-36 Highholborn Street in Kingston, this facility cares for orphans, malnourished children, the elderly, retarded young women and those terminally ill with AIDS. Presently it hosts over 150 residents.
In September 2001, Bethlehem Home was opened and blessed for at-risk and disabled children at 34-36 Higholborn Street. Presently, the home houses over 60 of such children. Its capacity is up to 150 children.
In 2004, the Missionaries of the Poor were given 70 acres of land in Iron River, Golden Spring, St. Andrew for the building up of Mount Tabor Monastery and Retreat Center. This center is used to host and serve our lay-associates, benefactors, friends and volunteers locally and from overseas. On Mt. Tabor, the Beatitudes Home for physically and mentally disabled children was blessed and opened on July 2008, which now is home to 25 disabled children.
In July 2008, the Beatitudes Home for physically and mentally disabled children was blessed and opened. The home is located in Iron River, Golden Spring and at the present time serves as home to 25 disabled children.
On November 08, 2009 the Missionaries of the Poor blessed Mount Beatitudes Chapel at Mt. Tabor, Iron River, Golden Spring. It serves as place for worship and conducting Catechism class for the people in the area.
On September 11, 2010, Fr. Ho Lung and the Missionaries of the Poor broke ground for the Holy Innocents Crisis Center for 200 distressed mothers and their babies. This is the Missionaries of the Poor’s answer to the Lord’s call to protect life. This center will provide support and assistance during pregnancy, prayer and spiritual support, temporary financial assistance, job placement, day care and lodging, skills training, facilities for mother and newborn, counseling for crisis pregnancy and ante-natal/post-natal/follow-up care.
In addition to these facilities, the centers have the following community outreach programs:
- Weekly food line that provides food packages to over 200 hungry people in the slums.
- Occasional distribution of chickens, clothes, biscuits and bananas to thousands to the ghettoes of Central Kingston.
- Night shelter that provides supper, shower, bed and breakfast to over 40 street people.
- Free medical care.
- Repair and building of houses in the ghettoes.
- House visitations.
- Counseling, crisis intervention and pastoral care in the slums.
- Worship services and crusades at Bethlehem Home (St. Ephraim Chapel) community chapel.
- Catechism for Sunday School children.
FATHER HO LUNG & FRIENDS
“Father Ho Lung and Friends” provides evangelization to thousands of men, women and children of all socio-economic levels through the performance of music written by Fr. Ho Lung. Expressing love of life, of God and of the poor, the music is performed in theatres in Jamaica and abroad, and is used in liturgical services throughout the Caribbean. In Jamaica, eight successive musical productions have been awarded the Jamaica Music Industry Award, the highest award presented by the music industry, along with many other awards. The performing group has also been instrumental in obtaining funds used to assist the Missionaries of the Poor in their work.