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WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Subcommittee on the Church in Africa approved funding for 51 projects, worth over $1.35 million in grants, to aid the pastoral work of the Church in 14 countries across the African continent. The decisions were made during the subcommittee’s meeting November 13, in Baltimore.
The subcommittee considers for grants projects that support pastoral and catechetical programs, seminaries and seminarians, the continuing education of clergy, communications and mass media as tools for evangelization, and Catholic education and schools. Funds come from parish collections through a USCCB effort called the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa.
For example, in this most recent allocation the subcommittee granted $17,000 to support pastoral work among the Borana people in remote regions of southern Ethiopia. In this region, the Spiritan Fathers work to evangelize among the nomadic people. Seeds of faith have been sown resulting in men studying for the priesthood, women applying to religious communities, and large numbers of catechumens and baptisms. The funding will support ongoing religious education and essential training of volunteer catechists who come with great passion for the faith but, often, little formal education.
“As we reviewed over one hundred pages of applications, the vibrancy of the faith in Africa was apparent. What was also clear was the tremendous need of the Church there,” said Bishop John Ricard, chairman of the subcommittee. “It was wonderful to be able to match funds given so generously by Catholics in the United States to those needs. To be part of the growth of the faith of our sisters and brothers in Africa is a great blessing. We are so very grateful to parishioners who support the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa.”
The Subcommittee on the Church in Africa oversees the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. In 2011 it granted $2.3 million for pastoral support. More information on the Solidarity Fund and the projects it funds can be found at http://www.usccb.org/catholic-giving/opportunities-for-giving/solidarity-fund-for-africa/.
Keywords: Africa, Subcommittee on the Church in Africa, Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa, National Collections, Bishop John Ricard, Catholic Bishops, USCCB
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