In 1991, the Diocese of Arlington, VA, and the Diocese of San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic, began a missionary partnership. The Diocese of Arlington adopted the parishes of Bánica and Pedro Santana with the welcome and support of the Bishop of San Juan de la Maguana. Since then, the Diocese of Arlington has provided priests, volunteers, financial and material support to the more than 13,000 faithful people living in the towns and surrounding rural communities.
Currently, Rev. Jason Weber and Rev. Stephen McGraw are serving at the Banica mission. Their responsibilities include evangelizing of the community, administering sacraments, providing basic needs of food, shelter and clothing, training and supporting catechists, educating the youth, running the day-to-day operations of their parish, and managing several family and student focused programs. The Banica Mission’s goal is to provide the opportunity for individuals to become independent and responsible members of the community and parish. The funding for the Mission comes from private donations from parishioners within the Diocese of Arlington.
Some examples of programs administered by the Banica Mission are:
- Banica Parochial School equipped with computer lab and library for students in grades K-8
- Jovenes Misioneros Scholarship Program: Provides full tuition scholarships to students attending college in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic.
- Sponsor a Family Program: Assists selected families with food and medical expenses.
- Sponsor a Seminarian Program: Assists students at the seminary with living and educational expenses as they study and prepare for the priesthood.
The Bánica Mission also provides opportunities for diocesan parishioners to share their time, talent, and treasure by attending a mission trip. Most mission trips complete short-term projects that will aid and support the people living in the mission. Some projects include:
- Construction of homes for individual families;
- Installation of cement floors in existing family houses; and
- Repairs to buildings and mission infrastructure.
Your support of the 2020 Mission Cooperative Appeal will provide the necessary funding to transform the lives of the people of Banica and Pedro Santana. If you would like to learn more and support the Banica Mission, please click the link below.