The Catholic Relief Services Collection Helps ‘Jesus In Disguise’

March 1, 2012 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—The Catholic ReliefServices Collection prioritizes families, values their fundamental role insociety and strives to protect them. The national date for this collection, whichtouches over 100 million lives through the six worldwide agencies it supports, isset for the weekend of March 17-18.

“The Catholic Relief ServicesCollection keeps Jesus’s message of caring for the least of these in the forefrontthrough the good works done for Catholics worldwide. Even though times arehard, I encourage Catholics throughout the United States to continue to donateand support this important collection,” said Bishop Kevin J. Farrell of Dallas, chairman of the United StatesConference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on National Collections.

The themeof the Catholic Relief Services Collection is “Jesus in Disguise: How will you help?” This year the focus continuesto be on the family. The collection helps families by providing basichumanitarian aid and life-skills training to those in need, protecting poorfamilies all over the world, advocating for policies that strengthen familiesabroad, and resettling and welcoming refugees forced from their homes.

Recently, collection funds helpedSipho Ncube, a widow and mother of three from Zimbabwe. Sipho was selected byCatholic Relief Services (CRS) and the Organization for Rural Associations forProgress to receive assistance from a small livestock pilot project. Theinitiative helps extremely poor families lift themselves out of poverty bygiving them goats, pigs and poultry to build household wealth. Project staffshowed Sipho how to properly care for, house and breed her animals, whichallowed her to sell the offspring and feed her family during hardships and foodshortages.

Funds from the Collection also helpParishes Organized to Welcome Refugees (POWR). POWR is an initiative sponsoredby the USCCB Department of Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) that works todevelop long-term, sustainable programs to help resettle refugees across theUnited States. In the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida, POWR helps refugeesfind work. Many of them lack employment and credit histories and, often, jobskills. The POWR program stresses the importance of good interview skills andexplains U.S. hiring procedures.

The Catholic Relief Services Collection funds sixCatholic agencies. In addition to MRS and CRS, the other agencies funded by thecollection include Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC); the USCCB’s Secretariat of Cultural Diversity inthe Church, which provides outreach and pastoral care to differentethnic and cultural groups; the HolyFather’s Relief Fund, which provides assistance to victims of natural disastersand other emergencies around the world; and the USCCB’s Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development, which advocatesfor poor and vulnerable peopleand for international justice and peace.

Additional information on TheCatholic Relief Services Collection can be found at www.usccb.org/about/national-collections.

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Keywords: National Collections, The Catholic ReliefServices Collection, CRS, MRS, CLINIC, Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in theChurch, USCCB Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, The Holy Father’s Relief Fund, Bishop KevinFarrell

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MEDIA CONTACT:Sr. Mary Ann WalshO: 202-541-3200M: 301-325-7935Email