Guidelines For Requesting Financial Assistance

from the USCCB Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America

Basic Principles

(a) Since the inception of USCCB Collection for the Church in Latin America, certain basic principles were taken into consideration when establishing criteria for financial aid. With their brother bishops in Latin America, the U.S. bishops recognize that programs should be designed to aid the Church in Latin America in the development of local responses to local challenges. All economic aid from the outside is by nature exceptional and transitory.

(b) The object of the fund is to initiate programs, not to maintain them. Applicants must supply from local sources approximately one third (i.e. 33%) of the total initial cost of a project for which funding is requested. Any grant would cover no more than expenses for 12 months.


(a) The members of the USCCB Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America are aware of the fact that Latin America and the Caribbean are heterogeneous societies and that programs vary from country to country. Regardless of the socio-religious and socio-economic situations of each locality, requests must fall under the following general categories:

1. Catechetics
2. Evangelization
3. Lay Leadership
4. Pastoral Activities

5. Preparation for the Permanent Deaconate
6. Religious Education
7. Formation of Clergy and Religious*
8. Socio-Religious Research

* Formation of Clergy and Religious is provided to those dioceses and religious congregations which are in need of support for the formation of men and women preparing for religious life or ordination.

  • In special circumstances, funding may be made available to dioceses and religious congregations to send the professors of men and women preparing for religious life to specialized programs of limited duration within Latin America.

  • It is the policy of the subcommittee NOT to provide money for studies outside of Latin America.

  • It is the policy of the subcommittee NOT to provide money for advanced education of priests and religious UNLESS the bishop requests the training for a particular individual in order to meet a pressing pastoral need of the diocese. Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

(b) IMPORTANT: Grants for the following types of requests are NOT approved:

1. Programs not related to local pastoral priorities;

2. Construction, repairs, remodeling, and/or construction materials –including furnishings;

3. Purchase of land, lots, premises, buildings, etc.;

4. Purchase of equipment (vehicles, office equipment – including computers, etc.);

5. Establishment of funds (investments, rotating, scholarships*, etc.);

6. Payments for events, activities, debts or expenses incurred prior to the meeting at which the bishops will consider the application;

7. Maintenance of churches and/or buildings;

8. Programs which have no possibility of future self-financing;

9. Recurring general administrative/operational expenses for already existing institutions (salaries, electric and water bills, expenses for phone and mail, etc.);

10. Consecutive requests for the same project and/or from the same organization or institutions;

11. Requests for grants to cover periods over 12 months.


(a) When related to the work of a religious congregation, the provincial or superior must also endorse the project in addition to the bishop or bishops as noted below.

(b) A project of diocesan scope, or located within a specific diocese (i.e. parishes, religious congregations, seminaries, other Catholic organizations), must be endorsed by the local diocesan bishop.

(c) A project of regional scope (i.e. taking place in more than one diocese), must be endorsed by the bishop of every diocese that is involved in the project.

(d) A project of national scope must be endorsed by the bishop president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops of that country, or by the bishop chairman of the appropriate Episcopal Committee.

Funding Cycles and Procedures

Those persons interested in presenting a request to the subcommittee without using the online process should write to the address below:

Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Office of National Collections3211 4th Street NE
Washington, DC 20017-1194

Once a completed application form is received online or a completed paper application has been submitted and received in the office, it will be assigned to a bishops' subcommittee meeting date for review. Provided there is no delay, it may take six to eight months to process a request from the day the application is received. 

The Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America meets two times per year, in June and November, to consider applications submitted. 

Petitioners should plan to start the process of seeking funding from the subcommittee a minimum of 7-9 months before the expected starting date of the project.