WASHINGTON—The 2013 Catholic Home MissionsAppeal will be taken up in many dioceses the weekend of April 27-28, helping tobridge the gap for isolated parishes and missions in dioceses and eparchiesacross the United States and in the U.S. territories of the Caribbean andPacific islands.
The annual appeal is the primarysource of funding for grants from the USCCB Subcommittee on Catholic HomeMissions. In the United States, 44 percent of all dioceses andeparchies currently receive support from the Appeal forbasic and essential pastoral programs such as evangelization, catechesis,seminary formation, and lay leadership training.
"Many Catholics in the United Statesdon't realize how many dioceses are struggling, often right next door," saidBishop Peter F. Christensen of Superior, Wisconsin, chairman of theSubcommittee on Catholic Home Missions. "Once appointed bishop of Superior, Ibecame painfully aware that my former parish budget and staff were more thandouble the operations of the entire diocese I now serve." Grants from theCatholic Home Missions Appeal help support 84 struggling dioceses andstrengthen the Church here at home.
The needs of mission dioceses are diverse.For instance, the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee covers 18 counties in the Floridapanhandle; three counties do not have a resident priest, and one county doesnot have a Catholic church. Vast physical distances, a rocky economy and ahighly diverse ethnic population are also challenges. The Catholic HomeMissions Appeal helps the diocese provide support for programs in 57 parishesand missions.
The Diocese of Tyler, in east Texas,has grown tremendously since it was established in 1987. Beginning with 40active priests, there are now 90 priests, 15 seminarians, 40 vowed religiouswomen and more than 100 deacons. The Catholic Home Missions Appeal assists the diocesein seminary education and vocation ministries to serve in rural, low-incomeparishes.
Theseare just two examples of how dioceses can benefit from the Catholic HomeMissions Appeal.
Moreinformation on the Catholic Home Missions Appeal and the projects it funds canbe found at www.usccb.org/catholic-giving/opportunities-for-giving/catholic-home-missions-appeal/
Keywords:Catholic Home Missions Appeal, missionarywork, evangelization, BishopPeter F. Christensen, Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions,
# # # # #MEDIA CONTACT ONLY:Norma Montenegro-FlynnO: 202-541-3202Email
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