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Subcommittee On The Church In Africa Approves 39 Grants, Awards $1 Million

July 12, 2013

WASHINGTON—The U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Subcommittee on the Church in Africa approved 39 grants to assist the Church in Africa for a total of $1,053,764. The subcommittee approved the grants during their meeting June 9, in San Diego, California.

The grants fund leadership formation, operations, construction and justice and peace. One grant will fund an interreligious dialogue program in the Diocese of Garissa, Kenya. The diocese contains the major refugee camp of Daadab and the Kenyan military base for operations in Somalia. "The work of interreligious dialogue in Kenya is a huge step toward peace in Africa," said Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, chairman of the Subcommittee on the Church in Africa. "If Muslim and Christian groups can learn to see each other as allies, then they will be able to help one another to fight terrorism at its root causes, despair and lack of faith in God's redeeming love, and repair the damage caused by attacks."

A diocesan program funded by a grant from the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa will host forums, training workshops and peace building meetings in order to foster dialogue and educate Muslim and Christian groups. These initiatives will use the common ground between the two groups by addressing issues of civic concern, such as poverty and drug addiction. The grant will help to cover the cost of meals, accommodations, transportation and program materials.

The subcommittee also approved the "Education for Life Programme," created by the South African Bishops Conference. This initiative reaches out to youth in 29 dioceses, including Botswana and Swaziland. The Education for Life Programme focuses on Christian values in order to teach the youth about their personal dignity. Through retreats and workshops, the bishops hope to give the youth an experience of conversion and the opportunity to make behavioral and lifestyle changes.

"We owe a debt of gratitude to the Church in Africa for many vocations," said Cardinal McCarrick. "But these vocations will not continue to grow without the support of religious education programs and opportunities for the youth. Our support is strongly needed in areas of high poverty and crime."

The Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa is a voluntary collection taken up by dioceses in the United States throughout the year. The fund is administered by the USCCB's Subcommittee on the Church in Africa and gives grants to African episcopal conferences and their regional associations in Africa.

More information on the work of the Subcommittee on the Church in Africa can be found online at


Keywords: National Collections, USCCB, Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, poverty, interreligious dialogue, ecumenism, justice and peace, terrorism, Kenya, youth, crime, Botswana, Swaziland, education

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Norma Montenegro-Flynn
O: 202-541-3202

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