The Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions evangelizes by giving financial support to missionary activities that strengthen and extend the presence of the Catholic Church in the United States and its dependencies. Through its annual fundraising appeal, the Subcommittee educates U.S. Catholics regarding mission needs and invites them to assist fellow Catholics in the practice of their faith.
The Subcommittee primarily serves home mission dioceses, that is, those unable to provide their people with the basic pastoral ministries of Word, worship and service without outside help. It may also give grants to other dioceses for particular projects, and to organizations and religious communities engaged in missionary work.
The Subcommittee, an agency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, serves the Church’s missionary tradition in this country. Its members, seven bishops, help dioceses and the Church at large address current pastoral needs while preparing to meet future challenges.
Historically, the Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions has accepted applications from four sources grouped into two categories, observing the following order of priority:
Diocesan bishops of home mission dioceses, for support of the basic pastoral ministries of word, worship and service offered at the parish or diocesan level.
- Heads of interdiocesan, regional, or national Catholic organizations, for home mission activities that serve to strengthen or extend the Church’s presence in more than one diocese.
- Provincials of religious institutes, for home mission activities that form part of their apostolate.
- In rare instances, diocesan bishops of other dioceses, for home mission projects of exemplary value in strengthening or extending the Church’s presence among a particular group or in a particular area.
AT THIS TIME, the Subcommittee is only approving grants to Class I applicants. Contact staff for more information at @email.
The Subcommittee on the Home Missions directs its support primarily to evangelization, catechesis, the promotion of parish life and the training of priests, deacons, religious and lay ministers.
Home mission activities may strengthen the Church's presence where it is weak. They may also extend the Church's presence as a means of salvation where it is not now present.
Home mission activities may be directed to a particular place, a particular group of people or the country as a whole.
Home mission activities may be centered at the parish, diocesan, interdiocesan or national level.
Criteria for Funding
In helping strengthen and extend the presence of the Church, the Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions bases funding decisions on the urgency of the pastoral need and the applicant's need for outside help, as determined by a current, preferably audited, financial statement and field visits.
Because circumstances vary widely, the Subcommittee also takes the following factors into account in its grant decisions:
- characteristics of the group to be served (poverty, ethnicity, recent immigration status, etc.);
- demographic/geographic factors (area to be served, ease of travel, population density, size of Catholic population, Catholics as a percentage of total population);
- strength of Catholic infrastructure (pastoral center, parishes, schools, religious houses, other institutions);
- characteristics of surrounding culture (poverty, ethnicity, attitude toward religion, attitude toward Catholicism, etc.).
If a given activity originates with a diocese or takes place entirely within a diocese, the diocesan bishop must certify its value in writing. If an activity takes place in more than one diocese, the applicant must obtain endorsements from several bishops whose dioceses the activity will affect.
The Subcommittee makes grants for operating expenses connected with a broad range of new or ongoing pastoral activities, according to priorities that the Subcommittee sets and periodically reviews. Ordinarily, grants are not given for capital expenses.
No funds are available for endowments or loans. Those whose programs provide social services exclusively are encouraged to seek assistance from other agencies.
The Subcommittee funds activities on an annual basis, but grantees may apply for renewal when the initial grant period expires. The Subcommittee may declare a grant non-renewable at its discretion.
It is the applicant's responsibility to show that activities for which grants are requested fall within these guidelines. The Subcommittee requires grantees to submit annual written reports on how they have used grant money as a condition for receiving renewed funding.