U.S. Catholic Bishops Allocate Millions for Charitable Initiatives Worldwide
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The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) made a significant announcement on Thursday regarding the allocation of millions of dollars raised by American dioceses for charitable purposes around the world. The funds, gathered through parish collections, mail-in donations, and various initiatives, were coordinated by the U.S. bishops' National Collections Committee.
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Photo credit: Adam Nir
Bishop James S. Wall of Gallup, New Mexico, who serves as the chairman of the USCCB Committee on National Collections, emphasized the essence of unity among Christians. He stated, "St. Paul wrote that when one Christian suffers, all Christians suffer because we are all part of one Body of Christ. That unity is the heart of these collections." The grants, disbursed to aid various causes, bring faith, hope, and love to those in dire circumstances, including those affected by political unrest, religious persecution, and poverty in remote and challenging regions across the globe.
The funds were distributed through four national collections to which American dioceses contributed. These collections include the following:
Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa: The Subcommittee on the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa provided over $1.1 million in grants, supporting the rapidly growing Catholic Church on the African continent. Amidst political unrest, religious persecution, and poverty in many regions, the fund granted $24,300 to train young Ethiopian Catholics to become "community peacemakers." This initiative seeks to address the violent conflicts that have affected the country for generations.
Catholic Home Missions: The Diocese of Venice, Florida, received nearly $1.4 million from the bishops' subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions. This grant is intended to aid the diocese's recovery from Hurricane Ian, which caused extensive damage and became the costliest hurricane in Florida's history. The funds will assist in covering insurance deductibles, repairs, and mold mitigation in thirteen parishes serving vulnerable communities in the southwestern part of the state.
Church in Central and Eastern Europe: Over $5 million was granted by the Subcommittee on the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. A significant portion of this sum, $1.5 million, was allocated for humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine. Additionally, the Diocese of Karaganda in Kazakhstan received $9,000 for evangelization purposes. Evangelization activities are permitted only on church property in Kazakhstan, and the funds will be used to organize ten free concerts at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Fatima, Mother of All Nations, to reach out to non-Catholics and spread the faith.
Church in Latin America: The Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America allocated more than $2.6 million, comprising 122 grants, for evangelization training and humanitarian relief in Latin American countries. The funds will support earthquake recovery efforts and the education of young nuns. Furthermore, $15,000 was dedicated to supporting the formation of 130 lay volunteers in ministry and evangelization in rural regions around Moyobamba, Peru.
While the specific breakdown of all grants is yet to be released, these initiatives reflect the USCCB's commitment to reaching out and providing aid to those in need globally. The grants serve as a testament to the collective efforts of the Catholic community to bring hope and compassion to those facing various challenges and adversities around the world.