February 25, 2014
WASHINGTON—The Catholic Relief Services Collection will take place the weekend of March 29-30. This year’s collection theme is “Help Jesus in Disguise.” The collection provides an opportunity to change the lives of more than 100 million people at home and abroad, particularly families affected by persecution, war and natural disasters.
“The Catholic Relief Services Collection gives us an opportunity for charity. We show our love of God through caring for the poorest of the poor, by providing humanitarian aid and funding projects that develop ongoing resources,” said Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Cincinnati, chairman of the Committee on National Collections of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). “This collection continues to alleviate suffering around the world in very concrete ways.”
Since 1996, violent conflict has raged in the Democratic Republic of Congo, claiming an estimated 5 million lives. Many armed groups causing this violence fund their activities by illegally mining and exporting minerals used to make cell phones and computers. The USCCB Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development’s Office of International Justice and Peace (IJP), Catholic Relief Services, and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Congo worked hard to expose the link between violence and illegal mining operations. In 2010, the United States adopted laws that require U.S. companies to show the origin of the minerals they use. Through projects like this, IJP counteracts violence and advocates for those who live in areas of conflict.
Assisted by funding from the Catholic Relief Services Collection, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) has made a difference in the lives of young people in Alabama. After receiving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, these young people were denied state driver’s licenses, often necessary to maintain a job or school enrollment. CLINIC worked with local organizations to connect individual cases with experienced advocates. CLINIC and its partners showed Alabama public safety officials that applicants had received Deferred Action and employment authorization documents and were eligible to obtain licenses. Because of CLINIC’s work, over 1,500 young people in Alabama are able to pursue work and educational opportunities.
The Catholic Relief Services Collection funds six Catholic agencies: Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the official overseas relief and development agency of the U.S. bishops; USCCB’s Department of Migration and Refugee Services (MRS), which helps resettle refugees in the United States; USCCB’s Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, which provides outreach and pastoral care for ethnic and cultural groups; USCCB’s Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development, which advocates for poor and vulnerable people and works for international justice and peace; Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), which provides legal services for immigrants; and the Holy Father’s Relief Fund, which provides assistance to suffering people around the world.
More information on the Catholic Relief Services Collection and the projects it funds can be found online: www.usccb.org/catholic-giving/opportunities-for-giving/catholic-relief-services-collection/
Keywords: National Collections, Catholic Relief Services Collection, Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, CRS, MRS, CLINIC, Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, The Holy Father’s Relief Fund, natural disasters, war, human trafficking, migrant children, refugees
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