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The countries in Central and Eastern Europe have faced many years of hardship. They have been oppressed by czars, radical communism, horrendous crimes against humanity, and revolutionary, civil, and world wars. Under communism, organized religion was opposed in favor of atheism to overthrow the power of the Russian Orthodox Church. Since the collapse of the former Soviet Union in 1991, Central and Eastern European countries have been working to rebuild political structures, social welfare, and their economies.
The USCCB Subcommittee on the Church in Central and Eastern Europe funds projects in 28 countries to build the pastoral capacity of the Church and to rebuild and restore the faith in these countries. The funds collected in the Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe are used to support seminaries, youth ministry, social service programs, pastoral centers, church construction and renovation, and Catholic communications projects.
Years after the fall of communism, even though some are now European Union citizens, the Catholics of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union still have great needs. The 2017 Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, slated for Ash Wednesday, March 1, will focus on the theme "Restore the Church. Build the Future."
The Eparchy of Cluj-Napoca recently built a Greek Catholic model school for grades K-12, helped by a grant from the Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. Click on the link to see photos from the dedication of the school, located in Cluj, Romania: http://ow.ly/DEpUT
In Armenia, the recovery from a devastating earthquake in the late 1980s and the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s has been difficult and slow. Many children in Armenia live on the street because of poor family situations or the need to earn their own money.The Sisters of the Immaculate Conception have used a grant from the Church in Central and Eastern Europe to fund a summer camp for 850 children ages 8 to 15.
The camp is provided for children who are orphans, live in extreme poverty, or live in poor isolated villages. At camp, the children receive much-needed rest along with physical and spiritual support, all in a nurturing environment. Local and international volunteers help create an atmosphere of safety and trust while guiding and mentoring the children. Some of the camp activities include attending catechetical classes, going hiking and on field trips, and participating in sports and acting in theatrical presentations. While at camp, the children can experience the encouraging love and support of God and others.
Download the 2017 Annual Report and see how your gift makes a difference in Central and Eastern Europe.
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