July 7, 2015
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America approved funding for 228 projects, totaling more than $3.3 million. The funds will be disbursed as grants to aid the pastoral work of the Church in the Caribbean and Latin America.
The top funded countries in this grant cycle are Colombia, Peru, Haiti, Mexico, and Ecuador. Projects include training of lay catechists, youth ministries, evangelization and communication. The projects were approved at the Subcommittee’s meeting on June 8 in St. Louis, Missouri.
The diocese of Managua in Nicaragua received a grant to strengthen its sign-language ministry, which aims to better serve the needs of hearing-impaired Catholics and facilitate their access to receive the sacraments, attend Mass and fully participate in the life of the parish. Participants will learn sign language for religious themes, attend religious education classes and participate in a retreat.
The Subcommittee also approved projects to support the cultural and religious heritage of those of African descent living in Latin America and the Caribbean. One project in the Archdiocese of Cali in Colombia will use music and dance to help children, adolescents and adults live out their faith within their culture. Topics of the various workshops include the history of musical instruments, Afro-Colombian music history, and faith and culture in the New Evangelization. Another project will fund a youth congress in the English-speaking Caribbean.
Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and Subcommittee chairman, recently visited the City of Cartagena in Colombia, the site of the tomb of St. Peter Claver and several projects the Subcommittee supports in that archdiocese. “The people of Latin America and the Caribbean have a rich culture and heritage, and grants in this ministry area support projects that deepen their faith,” Bishop Elizondo said. “The generosity of Catholics in the United States is inspiring and so valuable for our brothers and sisters in Latin America and the Caribbean. I am grateful for all of the support given to these projects to foster a growth in faith.”
In addition, the subcommittee also approved $346,000 for 32 pastoral projects for Haiti and $574,750 to four reconstruction grants for Church buildings in Haiti. Funding for these projects comes from the special collection for Haiti taken in 2010. All USCCB aid for reconstruction work in Haiti goes through the Partnership for Reconstruction of the Church in Haiti (PROCHE), an entity of the Haitian Bishops’ Conference.
“Much has been achieved in Haiti in providing both the immediate humanitarian aid and in long-term support for reconstruction,” said Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, chairman of the subcommittee’s Haiti Advisory Group. “But there is a still a lot of work to be done. We will continue to stand with the people of Haiti and work with them through the reconstruction process,” he added.
The Collection for the Church in Latin America is scheduled for the fourth Sunday in January, but some dioceses take it up on other dates. More information about the Collection for the Church in Latin America and the projects it supports can be found at: www.usccb.org/latin-america.
Keywords: Latin America, youth, clergy, lay formation, Collection for the Church in Latin America, Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, Archbishop Thomas Wenski, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, youth ministry, catechesis, grants, Haiti
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MEDIA CONTACT:Norma Montenegro Flynn