Discussion of Faith and Joy: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Priest – November 15
Please join an informal discussion of Faith and Joy: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Priest by Fernando Cardenal, S.J. at a meeting of the Hartford/Ocotal Sister City Project and Hartford Public Library reading group focused on Nicaragua. The program, part of the library’s Bridging Cultures Series, will be held in Room 141 of the library, 500 Main St., from 12:30 to 1:30 P.M., on Wed., Nov. 15. Participants may take their lunches, and there is no admission fee or registration.
Fernando Cardenal, brother of the poet Ernesto Cardenal, was a Nicaraguan Jesuit priest from a wealthy family who became committed to working with the poor. A liberation theologian, he was a leader in the Sandinista movement. After the revolution, he led the Literacy Campaign in which volunteers taught thousands of illiterate people to read and write. He was appointed Minister of Education but later broke ties with the Sandinista party.
The book may be purchased through local and online booksellers. We have a few copies available for loan. We hope you will come to both discussions of this moving, straightforward memoir.
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The Hartford/Ocotal Sister City Project is a story of two cities reaching out to each other, one in Nicaragua, Central America, the other Connecticut in the United States. It begins in 1986 when the Hartford Ocotal Sister City Project(HOSCP) was established with the help of the Capitol Region Conference of Churches and moves forward again in 1995 when the Project began providing seed money for a micro-lending program called FUNAFAM, which is based on the Grameen Bank model. Financial support from this program has helped hundreds of Ocotal women start small businesses of their own.
Over a period of 29 years HOSCP has used contributions to help fund the following programs, evolving from direct material aid to self-help initiatives:
- Material aid shipments in conjunction with the New Haven-Leon SCP
- Educational events
- Helping to fund the purchase of an ambulance
- Helping to fund the clean water project
- Hurricane Mitch relief
- FUNAFAM, a microcredit program based on the Grameen Bank model. Loaning small amounts of money to individuals starting small businesses
- Health education programs in outlying areas surrounding Ocotal
Many of the founders of the HOSCP are still active in the work. The sister-city commitment does not go out of fashion, nor does it cease to inspire those involved.
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