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Church Finances

 

The Catholic Church is able to carry out its good works in large part due to the generosity of her people. Catholics financially support their Church primarily through the Sunday offertory collection; annual bishops' appeals, which support diocesan-sponsored causes; and 10 national collections approved by the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

National Collections

Throughout the course of the year, many dioceses participate in 10 national collections approved by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for specific needs of the Church. These collections are taken up in parishes often as a second collection after the Sunday offertory.

The 10 collections are:

Church in Central and Eastern Europe

This special collection aids many of the pastoral needs of the Church of Central and Eastern Europe. The collection helps to rebuild the Church by supporting seminaries, social service programs, youth ministry, pastoral centers, church construction and renovation, and the transmission of the Gospel message through television, radio, and the Catholic press in 28 countries. In 2013, U.S. Catholics contributed $7.6 million[1] to the Central and Eastern Europe collection. More information can be found at: www.usccb.org/catholic-giving/opportunities-for-giving/central-and-eastern-europe/

Catholic Relief Services Collection

This appeal supports agencies that build the international social ministry of the Catholic Church through advocacy on behalf of the powerless and impoverished people and relief and resettlement services to victims of natural disasters, war, and religious and ethnic persecution. This collection helps to fund the work of Catholic Relief Services, the USCCB Departments of Justice, Peace and Human Development, Migration and Refugee Services and Cultural Diversity in the Church, the relief work of the Pope, and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC). In 2013, U.S. Catholics contributed $16.5 million[2] to the Catholic Relief Services collection. More information can be found at: www.usccb.org/catholic-giving/opportunities-for-giving/catholic-relief-services-collection/

Catholic Campaign for Human Development

This collection was mandated by the U.S. bishops to "address the root causes of poverty in America through promotion and support of community-controlled, self-help organizations and transformative education." Since its establishment in 1970, CCHD has granted more than $270 million to more than 4,000 community-based, self-help projects initiated and led by people living in poverty. Twenty-five percent of contributions from U.S. Catholics is retained by dioceses to fund local grants and 75 percent is sent to the national office at the USCCB to fund projects from around the nation. In 2013, U.S. Catholics contributed $9.5 million[3] to the Campaign for Human Development collection.More information can be found at: www.usccb.org/about/catholic-campaign-for-human-development/collection/index.cfm

Catholic Communication Campaign

This campaign produces and supports media projects that promote Gospel values and bring the Catholic Church's message to television, radio and other media, and through special projects of the Catholic press. An annual collection is taken up in the dioceses, which remit 50% of the funds collected to the national office. From these funds, grants are made following recommendations by the USCCB Communication Committee. The remaining portion of the collection is retained by the dioceses for use in local communication projects. In 2012, U.S. Catholics contributed $3.7 million[4] to support diocesan and national media efforts.More information can be found at: www.usccb.org/catholic-giving/opportunities-for-giving/catholic-communication-campaign/

Catholic Home Missions Appeal

Launched in 1998, the Appeal strengthens the Catholic Church in the United States and its territories where resources are thin and priests are few. Current grantees include 84 Latin and Eastern Catholic dioceses in Appalachia, the South, the Southwest, the Rocky Mountain states, Alaska, and the islands of the Pacific and Caribbean. The appeal funds a wide range of pastoral services, including evangelization, religious education, the maintenance of mission parishes, the training of seminarians and lay ministers, and ministry with ethnic groups, especially Hispanics. Four out of every 10 U.S. dioceses receive support from this Appeal. In 2013, U.S. Catholics contributed $9.7 million[5] to the Catholic Home Mission Appeal collection.More information can be found at: www.usccb.org/catholic-giving/opportunities-for-giving/catholic-home-missions-appeal/index.cfm

Church in Latin America

Support for various pastoral projects throughout Latin America and the Caribbean is made possible through the Collection for the Church in Latin America. Projects are at the continental, regional, diocesan and local levels, and include the work of evangelization, formation of laity, religious and seminarians, as well as youth ministry and catechesis. Funding is limited to programmatic expenses and excludes building construction. It was established by the U.S. bishops in 1965. In 2013, U.S. Catholics contributed $6.8 million[6] to the Church in Latin America collection.More information can be found at: www.usccb.org/catholic-giving/opportunities-for-giving/latin-america/

Peter's Pence (Collection for the Holy Father)

The Peter's Pence Collection enables the Pope to respond with emergency financial assistance to requests for aid to the neediest throughout the world – those who suffer as a result of war, oppression and natural disasters. It provides parishioners with a tangible opportunity not only to empower the weak, defenseless, and voiceless, but also to sustain those who suffer. In 2013, U.S. Catholics contributed $ 15.3 million[7] to the Peter's Pence collection.

Retirement Fund for Religious

Catholic bishops in the United States launched the Retirement Fund for Religious in 1988 to address the profound deficit in retirement funding among U.S. religious communities. The NRRO coordinates the annual collection and distributes the proceeds to eligible communities. In 2013, U.S. Catholics contributed $28.4 million to the Retirement Fund for Religious collection.[8]In 2013, the NRRO awarded $23 million in Direct Care Assistance to 424 religious communities, or an average of $1,024 for every member of an eligible Catholic religious community who is age 70 or older.[9]By 2024, it is projected that religious members age 70 and over will outnumber those under age 70 by four to one. [10]More information can be found at:www.usccb.org/about/national-religious-retirement-office/

Black and Indian Missions

Established in 1884, the National Collection for Black and Indian Missions supports and strengthens diocesan evangelization programs which otherwise would cease. This collection provides religious support for evangelization programs among African Americans, Native Americans, and Alaskan natives in dioceses across the United States.[11] In 2013, U.S. Catholics contributed about $7 million to the Black and Indian Missions collection.

More information can be found at: http://blackandindianmission.org/

Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa

A national effort that is not officially a collection but is approved by the USCCB and taken up in many dioceses is the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa. This special fund supports the future of the Church in Africa by funding grants for projects that range from Catholic education to evangelization. Programs supported by the Solidarity Fund work to overcome current challenges and ensure that the quickly growing African Church continues to thrive within its vibrant faith communities. The Pastoral Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africabegan as a joint project of the USCCB Committees on International Policy, Migration, and African American Catholics, supported by Catholic Relief Services and the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in the United States. On January 1, 2008, it became part of the Committee on National Collections with the Subcommittee on the Church in Africa leading the effort.[12] In 2013, U.S. Catholics contributed $2.4 million to the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa.

More information can be found at www.usccb.org/catholic-giving/opportunities-for-giving/solidarity-fund-for-africa/how-to-give.cfm

The Catholic University of America

This national collection provides funding for academic scholarships at The Catholic University of America in Washington. Catholic University, founded in 1887, is the only institution of higher education founded by the U.S. bishops. Students are enrolled from all 50 states and almost 100 countries. For the fiscal year 2014, U.S. Catholics contributed $5.8 million[13] to the Catholic University of America collection.



[1] U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Office of National Collections.

[2]Ibid.

[3]Ibid.

[4]Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] USCCB press release 8/4/2014, www.usccb.org/news/2014/14-136.cfm

[9] Retirement Fund for Religious, www.retiredreligious.org/how/index.html (accessed on 08/22/14)

[10]Retirement Fund for Religious, Frequently asked questions, www.retiredreligious.org/about/faq.html (accessed on 08/20/14)

[11]The Black and Indian Mission Office, 2014.

[12] U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops,"Who we Are," Solidarity fund for Africa,

www.usccb.org/catholic-giving/opportunities-for-giving/solidarity-fund-for-africa/who-we-are.cfm

[13]The Catholic University of America, August 2014.



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