Catholic Home Missions Allocates Grants From Disaster Relief Collections; $10 Million To Aid Dioceses Hurt By Hurricane Sandy

July 2, 2013 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference ofCatholic Bishops' (USCCB) Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions allocated $2.8million in grants to five dioceses impacted by two separate natural disasters.The grants were awarded at the Subcommittee's meeting in San Diego on June 8.

In May 2011, bishops were encouragedto hold a special collection to assist the victims of tornados and springstorms. Remittances from this appeal were split between the USCCB and CatholicCharities USA to meet humanitarian, pastoral and reconstruction needs. TheCommittee on National Collections tasked the Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missionswith allocating the USCCB's portion of the funds.

Initially, the Subcommittee receivedtwo applications for $1.3 million. In June 2012, the Subcommittee allocated$250,000 to the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau for the relocation of St.Mary's School in Joplin, Missouri, and $100,000 to the Diocese of Springfieldin Massachusetts to assist with renovations of a retired priests' residence. Attheir June 2013 meeting, the Subcommittee considered an additional request fromthe Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese and granted $300,000 to repair storm damageto their St. Vincent de Paul Center and St. Mary's Church and School.

"It seems that each year regions ofour country are rocked by some sort of natural disaster, and emergency specialcollections are requested," said Bishop Peter F. Christensen of Superior, Wisconsin,chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions. "Unfailingly,Catholics respond with a generosity that allows the Church to respondimmediately. The Catholic Home Missions' Subcommittee is happy to assist inthis process. Our experience working with mission dioceses here at home helpsus evaluate the requests efficiently and respond quickly."

After Hurricane Sandy hit the EastCoast in late 2012, dioceses were again asked to take up a special collection.To date, $10 million has been received from that special collection. Proceedswill again be split between the USCCB and Catholic Charities USA, with theSubcommittee on Catholic Home Missions allocating the funds designated forpastoral care and church reconstruction.

The Subcommittee received fourapplications for consideration at their meeting on June 8. Over $10 million inrequests for pastoral needs were received from the Archdiocese of Newark andthe Dioceses of Trenton in New Jersey, and the Dioceses of Brooklynand Rockville Centre in New York.The Subcommittee allocated $2.5 million in afirst round of grants.

Additional requests will beconsidered at the Subcommittee's November meeting.

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Keywords:Catholic Home Missions Appeal, missionarywork, special collections, evangelization, Bishop Peter F. Christensen,Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions, USCCB, U.S. Conference of CatholicBishops, Hurricane Sandy, Catholic Charities USA

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