Newbridge Kildare Lions Support Father Dan Noud in Tanzania and other similar African Projects.  

Dan originally from Suncroft Village, The Curragh, Co Kildare has devoted his life to his Parish in Tanzania Africa.  Dan returns home to Suncroft every few years and relies heavily on the local community to support his parish in Tanzania. 

Over the years many 40 Foot Containers of Clothing, School Books, Water Pipes, Motorbikes, Tractors and Generators have been packed by his network of supporters and despatched to Tanzania.  Dan uses these good to build up the infrastructure in his parish.

Newbridge Kildare Lions Club knows Dan personally and believes that by supporting Dan that it is directly and effectively targeting poverty in Africa. 

 An Article on Fr Dan and his community can be found below!   

Dan digs into the bush to build yet another Tanzanian school

BROWNSTOWN & TANZANIA, 4 January 2001: by Brian Byrne.

“I suddenly realised I was in trouble.”

For some moments, Dan Noud had been distracted by the intense stare from the man who’d turned and looked at him as he made his way through a crowded market in Dar Es Salaam. “There was something very odd about his eyes, and then I became aware that another man was hovering to my left,” the Brownstown-born Pallotine missionary recalls. “It was then I looked down, and saw the knife ...”

Knowing it was already probably too late, Dan swung his shoulder bag in front of his stomach as the man with the staring eyes lunged his blade forward. There was a ripping sound, then a metallic one, and Dan fell backwards with the force of the attack, shouting to two African friends who were walking a little way in front.

“I should have been dead,” he remembers. “Ordinarily, what I’d have in the bag wouldn’t have stopped the blade. But for some reason, when I was leaving home to go to Dar Es Salaam that week, I had gone back to pick up a picture of my mother. It was the metal frame that caught the point of the knife.”

To this day, that picture of Dan’s dead mother is an even more treasured possession than it had been, now with cuts from the deflected knifepoint. He is convinced that it was her intervention from beyond the grave that saved his life.

Anyone listening to Dan Noud tell of his adventures in the African bush would have to believe that there is indeed a divine presence watching over him. After almost 40 years working mostly in Tanzania, he is physically wracked from illness and injuries, he is often mentally exhausted with the effort of keeping his work going on a stipend of Ł130 a month, and he has brushed with death more often than he cares to remember.

His ‘home’ is two metal freight containers placed on top of each other, the top ‘storey’ being his living quarters, the bottom one a store for scarce medical and other necessities and an ‘office’ to meet with people who want his help.

In the meantime, with the help of many of those same people, he is building a school which will probably also act as a dispensary.

It’s the third, or maybe the fourth time he has done this. Every time he has completed a project, be it a small hospital or a school, and it has become self-sufficient in a growing African community, he has moved on to start again. Somewhere further out in the bush, places which many of the rest of us would describe as ‘God-forsaken’.

But Dan sees beauty and God in the most desperate of places and direst of conditions. And maybe he perversely finds it easier to do so there than back at home in Ireland, where he sees mostly a stifled Church. Maybe reflected in the fact that he will often be given a spontaneous round of applause after ‘preaching’ a homily in a local Kildare church while home on leave.

Certainly, not many of the home-based priests have to deliver babies on the side of a dirt road, drive badly mauled victims of big cat attacks up to 200 miles to hospital, or give emergency treatment to a syphilis-ridden ‘parishioner’ on the kitchen table before breakfast.

Not too many of them suffer from recurring malaria - an endemic illness which kills annually four times as many Africans as does AIDS and which regularly has brought Dan himself to death’s door. Few, I suppose, would have had to carry the top of their finger 150 miles to have it sewn back on after it was lopped off by a closing car door.

That last didn’t work so well, and after six months of complications, including gangrene, they finally had to amputate Dan’s finger completely. Now he can’t even type easily, because the operation left other fingers permanently crooked. Which is a pity, because Dan’s stories should be preserved, if only to show the strength of faith in adversity. And sometimes the opposite.

Africa can be a very unforgiving environment, and mortality is high. Privation is the order of pretty well every day, and Dan Noud could long ago have been forgiven if he’d decided he’d done his bit and come home to an easier life.

But it won't be so, because ‘home’ is now where he’s spent the last four decades. Brownstown, where he was born and where his family have lived for generations, is not where he’ll retire to.

Because, while the environment and the life can be unforgiving, the people of Africa have a special place in Dan’s heart. And he in theirs. “When I’m old, they’ll look after me,” he told me. “When I die, Africa is where I want to be buried.”

Dan Noud has spent many tens of thousands of pounds in his endeavours, but rarely has a penny to his own name. Friends in County Kildare have for many years responded to his calls for help, raising money for his projects, finding him a 4WD vehicle or - the last time he was home - a motorcycle, so he can get around his ‘parish’.

(The bike was part of a fairly recent close encounter with the Grim Reaper, when, after discharging himself from hospital, he fell asleep while riding home and woke up in the trees beside the bent Suzuki.)

He sometimes ‘does the rounds’ of wealthier parts of the world, preaching on occasion in the US to raise funds, and he is appreciative of financial help that comes from a number of European sources, including German aid organisations.

And though he has spent most of his life away, he still keeps in touch with Ireland every night, via the short-wave transmissions from RTE of edited versions of radio programmes here. A small radio, a gift from a friend, is his only ‘luxury’.

It makes you think, doesn’t it? Especially at this time of the year.

Dan Noud can be contacted at SCP 178 Kateshi, via Arusha, Tanzania, East Africa. In the meantime, a number of fundraising functions are planned for the near future in Newbridge. Donations can be made to a special bank account in Kilcullen under the name of TOIL, a group of people who give Dan Noud a dig out when they can.

Do what you can, because divine intervention is OK, but is best saved for life-threatening occasions.

©2001knn

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