WASHINGTON—The annual national Collection for the Church in Latin America (CLA) will be the weekend of January 21-22. As an example of the work supported by the collection, the poster image for the 2012 collection features some children about to receive their first communion. In 2011 the collection assisted 770 children from San Blas parish in El Pozón, near Cartagena, Colombia, to prepare for their First Eucharist.
The collection supports pastoral projects in Latin America and the Caribbeanthat encourage and enrich the lives of the Catholics there. Many communities rely on the help from the CLA Collection to sustain the faith development of their parishioners.
“[The projects supported by the CLA Collection] included the formation of seminarians and religious; the promotion of youth ministry; the support of many pro-life and family ministry activities as well as the efforts of many thousands of priests, religious and laity who share the Gospel in some of the remotest areas of our hemisphere,” said Archbishop José Gomez, chairman of the United States Catholic Bishops Conference Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America and Archbishop of Los Angeles, in a letter of appeal to dioceses and parishes in the United States.
“In a particular way, the Collection touches upon our ministry to the large number of Hispanic Catholics in the United States. For them, the Collection offers an opportunity to show solidarity with the Church in their country of origin and to support the New Evangelization throughout the entire hemisphere. For many Catholic brothers and sisters, the collection is an opportunity to continue learning about the people of Latin America and the expression of our Catholic faith in the continent,” he said.
In 2011, the collection awarded 407grants totaling $7.1 million that were distributed throughout 19 Latin American countries. The Subcommittee for the Church in Latin America also dedicated exceptional grants to help repair churches and other Church structures in countries devastated by natural disasters, such last year’s earthquake in Haiti and the 2007 earthquake in Perú.
The Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America oversees the Collection for the Church in Latin America as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. More information on the Collection for the Church in Latin America and the projects it funds can be found at http://www.usccb.org/catholic-giving/opportunities-for-giving/latin-america/.
Keywords: Latin America, Church in Latin America, pastoral needs, Colombia, Peru, Haiti, Archbishop José H. Gomez, U.S. Catholic bishops
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