Jamaica Committee Mission Statement

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Jamaica Committee Mission Statement

The Mission of the Good Shepherd Jamaica Committee is to increase the Good Shepherd parishioners’ awareness and active involvement in supporting our twinned Catholic community, Holy Spirit Parish of Maggoty Jamaica.


  • Goods Collections: Lent – school-related supplies determined by Father Marek. Diocese packs containers around March and is sent through Food for the Poor.

  • Advent Giving Tree: November/December (Christmas 2008 = $1,925.00).

  • Academic Sponsorships:
    December 2008 = 9 sponsorships = $4,500.

    • Promote communication between sponsor families and students.

  • Mission Trips: Our hope is to organize 1 trip/year.


  • Communicate closely with the Pastor of Holy Spirit Parish so we understand the community’s needs and ensure that our support is appropriate.

  • Communicate closely with the pastor of Good Shepherd and the Christian Service Committee so our actions are coordinated and complimentary to other church programs.

  • Establish and maintain communication with other supporting benefactors involved in fostering the growth of the Holy Spirit community.

  • Educate and inform our Good Shepherd parishioners of the Holy Spirit Parish and community goals, needs, progress and the opportunities to become involved in support our twinned parish.

  • Develop service opportunities that would enable Good Shepherd parishioners of all ages and physical abilities to contribute to the needs of the Holy Spirit Parish.

Good Shepherd Catholic Church

Jamaica Committee

867 Grays Blvd.

State College, PA 16801

(814) 238-6110

Web site: www.goodshepherd-sc.org


The Facts
Population: 2,825,928

Capital: Kingston

Size: Slightly smaller than Connecticut

Climate: Tropical; hot, humid, temperature interior

Religion: Protestant, Roman Catholic, Rastafarian

Languages: English, Patois, Spanish blend of pidgin and Creole languages of West Africa

Literacy: 87.5% (USA = 99%)

Infant Mortality Rate: 15.22 deaths/1,000

Life Expectancy: 73.53 years (USA = 78.11 years)

Per Capita Purchasing Power Parity:

$4,700 (USA = $47,000)

General Information
Jamaica has a rich and diverse cultural blend of people from around the world. African and European influences dominate the culture, but Spanish, Irish, Indians, Chinese and Germans have all impacted the culture.
Jamaica has been an independent country since 1962, when it ceased to be a British colony, yet it remains a part of the British Commonwealth. Jamaica has a Head of State, the Governor General who is appointed by the Monarch of England. The Head of Government is the Prime Minister, the leader of the majority party, who is elected by the Jamaicans.

Roman Catholic 4%, Protestant 61%, Hinduism 1.4%. In 1930, Rastafarianism was promoted as an alternative to white oriented religions. Followers worship the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie or Ras Tafari. Rastafarians believe in reincarnation, that males should not cut or comb their hair or beards, and believe in nurturing the inner spirit in each person. Marijuana is used as a sacramental and for meditation.

Currently, Christianity is taught in the schools. Students learn about God and the Bible and they have public prayer at school.

How Do the Jamaican People Live?

Homes – many homes were not wired for electricity until 1997. Due to strong British influence, Jamaicans are modest and conservative dressers.

Principal exports are bauxite, alumina, apparel, sugar, bananas, coffee, citrus, rum and coca.

Currency: $1.00 USA = $87.00 Jamaican dollars
About Maggotty

  • With surrounding area population = 12,000.

  • Approximately 27 miles from Montego Bay, but 1½ to 2-hour drive depending on road conditions.

  • Small % of adults employed in sugar cane industry.

  • Most families subsist on cultivating fruit & vegetable crops on small plots and raising animals.

  • Unemployment is often at 70%.

  • 15% of population lives below the poverty line.

  • High level of illiteracy limits qualification for employment.

  • Limited access to quality education or training programs; transportation is cost prohibitive.

Educational Systems

Around 1970 - formal education began to reach most Jamaicans.

Primary school – grades 1-6 (5-12 yrs. old). Attendance rate = 98%. Student/teacher ratio: Often 60 students to 1 teacher.
Secondary school – 1980, their government formalized and expanded the curriculum for 7-9th grades. Attendance rate continues to be low = 58%.

Costs of books, uniforms, lunch and transportation deters families from sending children consistently.

Colleges (5% of students continue on to college.)

University of West Indies – Kingston

College of Agriculture, Science and Education

University of Caribbean

University of Technology
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