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WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America approved funding for 86 projects, worth over $2.1 million in grants, to aid the pastoral work of the Church in 20 countries throughout the hemisphere. The decision was made during the subcommittee’s meeting June 13, in Seattle.
“We continue to respond to the needs of the Church throughout Latin America,” said Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, chair of the subcommittee. “We are working extensively with the Church in Haiti and in Chile as they continue to address the needs resulting from the earthquakes in 2010. In Haiti, we are helping build churches, schools, and convents that are designed and built to withstand future earthquakes.”
The subcommittee also approved funding for pastoral projects, formation of pastoral agents and a special grant to the Church in Cuba to support evangelization efforts and the celebration of the 400th anniversary of Our Lady of Charity of Cobre. Pastoral projects totaled over 45 percent of the funds approved. Other examples of projects funded include aid for the pastoral care of indigenous peoples in El Salvador, and “El Observatorio de realidad desde una perspectiva pastoral,” a social analysis and reflection project to aid the pastoral work of the Church in Colombia. Funding was also approved for GRAVIDA, an Argentinean network of centers serving 21 dioceses to promote, care and defend life and recognize the value of paternity and maternity.
Close to 32 percent of the funds approved were dedicated to special projects and needs in dioceses throughout Latin America. For example, funding will assist the Diocese of Ica in Peru, as it continues to rebuild following a devastating earthquake in 2007.
Funding to assist the formation of religious, seminarians and clergy totaled almost half a million dollars, or just over 23 percent of total funds awarded. These grants will assist in the education of more than 900 women and men as they prepare for lives of service in the Church.
The Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America is part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. It provides support for the USCCB grant-making programas well as the conference’s international policy work on Latin America. The subcommittee meets three times a year to review and make grant decisions.
More information on the Collection for the Church in Latin America and the projects it funds can be found at http://www.usccb.org/latinamerica/.
Keywords: Latin America, evangelization, pastoral care, indigenous peoples, clergy, seminarians, religious education, Collection for the Church in Latin America, Archbishop José Gomez, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
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