Colombian diocese donates 250,000 hosts to alleviate shortage in Venezuela

Hosts Cucuta Hosts donated by the Bishop Víctor Manuel Ochoaof Cúcuta. Photo: Diocese of Cúcuta.

With a flour shortage leading to a lack of hosts in Venezuela, the neighboring diocese of Cúcuta, Colombia donated 250,000 hosts for border dioceses to celebrate liturgies during Triduum.

Bishop Victor Manuel Ochoa of Cúcuta donated the hosts to dioceses along the Colombian-Venezuelan border in their area, saying that he hoped to convey "the charity of Christ."

The delivery was made early March 30 on the Simon Bolivar International Bridge, which connects the two countries.

Venezuela is facing severe food and medicine shortages amid the economic crisis under President Nicolas Maduro. Thousands have fled the country as necessities become increasingly scarce.

This is not the first time that the Diocese of Cúcuta has donated components for the Eucharist to the nearby Venezuelan Church.

The Diocese of Cúcuta, which provides thousands of meals daily to refugees fleeing from Venezuela into Colombia, noted in a statement that "it is also important to take care of the needs that afflict the Faith as a consequence of this time of crisis in the border region."

The grave crisis facing Venezuela has also affected the life of the local Church.

As early as August 2015, it had been reported that the economic crisis had caused the production of hosts in three Venezuelan states to drop by 60 percent.

In a March 28 RCN Radio broadcast, Sister Pilar Rivas of the Servants of Jesus Mother House, which makes hosts for parishes in Caracas and Venezuela's interior, said that in the last two years, they have had to short-fill orders due to the lack of raw material.

"With orders placed in advance, if they ask for 10,000 hosts we give them 2,000 because we can't meet a very big demand for orders…Sometimes we have to stop making hosts due to the shortage of flour, we have gone for entire weeks without being able to make hosts," she said.

In some areas, priests have had to divide hosts into numerous pieces in order to provide for the faithful.

Sister Pilar voiced hope that "with the mercy of God and the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary," circumstances in the country will improve.

This article was originally published by our sister agency, ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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