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Assisting The Missionaries Of The Poor

On July 5th - 7th members of the Order from the Charlotte Region traveled to Kingston, Jamaica to work with Fr. Richard Ho Lung and the Missionaries of the Poor (MOP) brothers in their ministry to the poor, disabled, and imprisoned. The Charlotte Region is donating approximately 2000 Bibles, 2000 catechisms, and 4000 other spiritual books to the MOP as part of its Defense of the Faith initiative.

The Defense of the Faith initiative for prison inmates grew out of the Charlotte Region’s ongoing support of the MOP in their Monroe, North Carolina monastery. In North Carolina the brothers work with the local poor and disadvantaged. They also collect food, clothing, diapers, and other necessities that are sent to MOP centers overseas.

Jackie and Bob Gallagher together with their son Conor and friend and business associate Rick Rotondi delivered the first shipment of Bibles to inmates at the Tower Street prison in Kingston on behalf of the Order.

The Tower Street prison is a facility designed to house 1400 prisoners. Presently there are 1700 men housed generally four to a cell. The MOP attend to the spiritual needs of the prisoners to the extent allowed by local authorities.

The MOP brothers operate five centers in the ghetto of Kingston and one just outside of Kingston in the mountains. In these centers they feed, clothe, shelter, and give medical aid to approximately 600 physically and mentally challenged men, women, and children. Each center operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The MOP was started by Fr. Richard Ho Lung, a Jamaican of Chinese parentage. A convert to Catholicism, Father Ho Lung began his priesthood as a Jesuit in academia. He taught at Boston College and the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. But during these years he could not forget his roots in the ghettos of Jamaica.

In 1981 Father Ho Lung left the Jesuits and the comforts of academic life and founded the MOP. Today the MOP has 600 brothers who serve the poor and needy in Jamaica, Haiti, the Philippines, Uganda, Kenya, India, Indonesia, and the United States.

Two years ago Father Ho Lung founded the Sisters of the Missionaries of the Poor to care for unwed mothers and their babies. He did so in response to a challenge by a pro-abortion Jamaican politician. Father had been fighting abortion legislation, and his opponent pointedly asked how Father would care for the unwanted babies he saved. Today after just two years the Sisters of the MOP have a monastery built by the MOP brothers. Approximately 10 sisters in formation to serve the unwed mothers and children of Kingston’s ghettos.

If you would like more information on Father Ho Lung and the Missionaries of the Poor, you may contact jackie.s.gallagher@gmail.com