Friends of the Roman Catholic Diocese


Who We Are

We, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Montego Bay are a Eucharistic Community of faith and action.
We are empowered by our identity as the Body of Christ to carry out the mission of Jesus Christ.
Called to be light in the darkness of a broken society and salt in the lives of people seeking wholeness, we are shepherded by our Bishop, who leads a People from all walks of life, in building the Kingdom of God in our world.

Friends of the Diocese

The Friends of the Diocese are a diverse group of people from the United States of America, Canada, and from those who can participate in our own Jamaican society as well. These donors are the real heroines and heroes of the Diocese. They champion and enable the vital work of the Diocese with the painfully poor and destitute of Jamaica.
Once one leaves the coastal resort regions of Jamaica (which, in great part, feed Wall Street), and one begins to penetrate both the interior, and the hills, of the Island Nation, one will find that most of our average Jamaican families, in both rural and urban regions, work in the informal economy of Jamaica. They engage their little side, informal jobs as temporary day laborers in domestic work, tourism related work, etc., wherever they can. And with their meager earnings of a few dollars a day (usually between $20U.S. and $25U.S. a day), and after taking into consideration other living expense needs, they will purchase with their remaining pennies a little rice, beans, and when affordable, a little tin of mackerel.
Covid, however, with its painfully associated lock downs, caused all their day laborer opportunities to evaporate. Consequently, within days, families lined up at our Cathedral, our parishes, and our missions by the hundreds, seeking food and hygiene packages of basic human need for themselves, and more importantly, for their precious children.
It was the Friends of the Diocese who were the veritable life savers for these families. Our Friends enabled the Diocese to distribute thousands of those crucial care packages. Friends also enabled the Diocese to serve two hundred plus hot meals, a couple of days a week, to our homeless and unemployed on the streets of Montego Bay.
Many, but not all, of our families are now able to re-engage their informal job opportunities; although, not at pre-pandemic levels! THE ISSUE THAT OUR FAMILIES NOW FACE is the inflationary cost of food. Their meagre daily earnings have not increased, and therefore their buying power, with inflation, has been significantly reduced. It is exceedingly difficult for our lower income earners in Jamaica. They struggle, bless their hearts!
And so, once again, with current inflation rates, our families line up at our Cathedral, our parishes, and our missions, pleading again for a helping hand with supplemental nutrition, and hygiene products, for their precious children. Friends, such as Food for the Poor Ministry, graciously provide rice when they are able. Other Friends, like Dr. Andrew Simone’s Canadian Food for Children Foundation, generously gift our families with other various nutritional items when available. Both organizations, as Friends, have been a huge blessing to our people!
It is, however, INDIVIDUAL FRIENDS that enable our Diocese to purchase alternate forms of nutrition as a much-needed supplement to the above. Canned proteins are especially crucial. Cooking oil, cornmeal, individual hygiene products, etc., are all gifted by the kind generosity of individual Friends of the Diocese.
But some, sadly, still go without. MAY WE, THEREFORE, INVITE YOU TO BECOME A FRIEND OF THESE BEAUTFIFUL FAMILIES, BY CLICKING ON THE SAFE AND SECURE DONATE BUTTON BELOW, to befriend and accompany these low-income families in their struggle?
We visited a tight knit, yet exceedingly poor, agricultural community in April of 2022. The community is a tad north, as one journeys further up the hill, from Cambridge outside of Montego Bay. The community is called The Village at Rose Hill. Although destitute, they have their elected, and highly respected, civic leadership in place. Father Kamil Kowalski, Pastor of St. Mary’s little Catholic Community in Cambridge, and Mr. Oral Spense, lay pastoral associate closely with the community.
The community has asked for assistance with establishing both a Broiler Chicken, and Layer Hen Poultry Farm. The community, under the watchful observance of their civic leadership, Father Kowalski, and Mr. Spense will furnish the labor in building their needed coops. WE NEED FRIENDS, however, to assist the Diocese with the purchase of materials needed, chicks, startup feed, feeders, etc.
With that said, MAY WE, THEREFORE, INVITE YOU TO BECOME A FRIEND OF THESE FAMILIES IN THE VILLAGE AT ROSE HILL, BY CLICKING ON THE SAFE AND SECURE DONATE BUTTON below, to befriend and accompany these families on their journey to self-sustainability? You’re accompanying these families will not only gift them with much needed protein, but also enable them to generate a little communal income.
Most families, in both the hills of Jamaica and destitute urban regions, live in shack homes constructed with rusted corrugated zinc, dry rotted lumber, torn tarpaulin and plastic. In foul weather, especially when tropical storms visit, these families often find themselves drenched, and sometimes flooded. Tropical systems often twist, bend, and sometimes collapse their little shack homes. In the best of weather conditions, they are not sheltered from the elements and rodents.
Friends of the Diocese, however, have been a huge blessing by embracing many of these families in their destitution. The solidarity of Friends has enabled the Diocese to purchase zinc, lumber, cement, and other building material, (when those materials are unavailable from a donor organization), to make those shack homes a tad more dignified and humane for these beautiful families. Friends also graciously gift the cost of the skilled labor needed to upgrade those shanties.
Food for the Poor Ministry, founded in our Jamaica 40 years ago, have been a huge blessing to the people of our Diocese. They have built, and continue to build, beautiful, simple, and colorful little cottage homes for our families. But, with land title complications in Jamaica, Food for the Poor Organization is only able to assist those who have title to the land they live on. So many of our poor, however, are living on land that is not theirs. Friends of the Diocese have therefore stepped in to assist in touching and transforming the lives of these families that live in squalor through no fault of their own. And, what a blessing these Friends are! But so many more await that transformation.
And so, to touch and transform the lives of these awaiting families, PLEASE CLICK ON THE SAFE AND SECURE DONATE BUTTON, to help restore a shattered home to some semblance of security and livability for a destitute family.


The Ongoing Faithful Solidarity of the Friends of the Diocese

And all the above layered on top of the ongoing and existing challenges of supporting our cherished children’s educational needs, keeping our Cathedral and parish buildings from crumbling apart, our vehicles functioning so that we can access the hills and other impoverished regions, etc. The needs and challenges of a poor mission Diocese are great indeed. Hence, our deep gratitude to our beloved and heroic Friends of the Diocese for their ongoing willingness to journey with us. May they be blessed beyond what is even imaginable! Please become a new Friend, and join our existing Friends, and journey with these impoverished, yet beautiful families, indeed the People of God on this Island Nation!
Blessed be,