This article appeared in The Criterion Dec. 21, 2007
By Mary Ann Wyand
Comboni Father Michael Barton’s prayers and his Christmas wish list begin with peace and an end to violence for war-torn
He also hopes for donations to build a church and school in the
Catholics in central and southern Indiana can learn more about his ministry half a world away in southern Sudan by logging on to a new Internet site created by Jane Lichtenberg, a member of Holy Spirit Parish in Fishers, Ind., in the Lafayette Diocese. The weblog address is www.nyamlell.blogspot.com.
As Community Conversations coordinator for The Indianapolis Star, Lichtenberg has written about the Comboni priest’s ministry.
Father Barton grew up in
When Lichtenberg talked with him during his home visit last summer, she learned that he is trying to raise funds to build church and school buildings in a village in Northern Bar el Gazelle State.
She decided to create the blog to keep people informed about his ministry and pastoral needs. It includes excerpts from his letters as well as stories about his ministry that were published in The Indianapolis Star and The Criterion.
Lichtenberg launched the site in September after Father Barton departed for a sabbatical in the
In an e-mail to The Criterion, she requested publicity for the new blog.
“He has spent the past five years based in Nyamlell, another village in the parish,” Lichtenberg explained. “From there, he has traveled hundreds of miles visiting other parts of the parish, administering sacraments and spreading God’s Word to the Sudanese people, many of whom live in great poverty.”
She said his goal is to raise $150,000 for a church and school at Marial Baai.
“I suggested a blog that would help him keep in touch with his many friends in the
Citing “the extraordinary work he has done in
During an interview with The Criterion last August at the archdiocesan Mission Office, Father Barton talked about answering God’s call to serve the people in
Saving souls for God is his first priority as a missionary, he said, and educating the children is a close second.
At the Catholic schools he established in St. Theresa Parish, children study English, Dinka, Swahili, Arabic, science, agriculture, geography, civics, history and Christian religious education, including the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles during the last three years of school.
While ministering in
That is all part of serving God’s people in