One of Cross Catholic Outreach’s long-term partnerships is with the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, who operate the Namaacha Girls’ Food Support program in the Archdiocese of Maputo, Mozambique. Since 2009, we have supported these devoted sisters and their mission to empower vulnerable girls in Christ’s name.
Cristina Safi a Jose is a young girl whose life transformed when she was rescued by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary. Before connecting with their ministry, Cristina had been living with her grandmother and aunt. Returning home one evening and finding her family gone, she rushed to the sisters for help. When the sisters investigated, they discovered that Cristina’s grandmother had been moved to the hospital, and the aunt had traveled with her.
To help the family, the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary offered to take Cristina in and assist with her care. Their support has been an incredible blessing for Cristina, who now receives three meals a day and goes to school regularly. She also attends skills classes, which teach important abilities in home economics, farming and the culinary arts.
Through catechism and character education courses, Cristina is deepening her faith and developing strong moral values as well. She celebrates the Eucharist each week and is active in the Missionary Childhood group, which encourages children to get more involved in parish services. She and the other girls engage in regular worship and participate as altar servers, dancers or singers on feast day celebrations.
The Franciscan Missionaries of Mary provide a safe, nurturing environment where girls can grow into capable, faith-filled young women. Beyond meeting basic needs for food and shelter, the sisters also minister to each child’s educational and spiritual needs.
In all of these ways, the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary are restoring children’s sense of hope. Virtually all the girls have experienced traumatic events in their lives. Most are single or double orphans and have craved unconditional love for years. With consistent emotional support from the sisters, they can finally overcome the wounds of the past and face the future with strength.
Cross Catholic Outreach is blessed to support the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary as they provide a stable home and share Christ’s life-changing compassion with precious girls in need.