WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Subcommitteeon the Church in Central and Eastern Europe awarded $4.9 million in grants to195 projects, on June 9, during the Subcommittee meeting in San Diego. The Collectionsupports pastoral, educational and construction projects in Central and EasternEurope and Central Asia. The projects support youth ministry, seminary formation,Catholic education and intellectual life in 28 countries.
"The Church continues to face harsh challenges in theareas this collection serves," said Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Spokane,Washington, chairman of the Subcommittee. "Many countries have never recoveredfrom communism, and the people live in extreme poverty."
The poverty faced by the people of Central andEastern Europe is not limited to physical poverty, he added.
"In areas where the economy has grown, thereis a pervasive secularism, a lack of Catholic intellectual life, whichimpoverishes the human spirit. This is another kind of poverty, which theChurch needs to address by being present in higher learning and the culturallife," Bishop Cupich said.
The Subcommitteesupported one grant for a project of particular importance for the Catholic hierarchyin the countries served. In 2014, this project will offer specialized workshopsin crisis management and public relations for bishops from various countries ofthe region. The project is being administered by the Jesuit-run European Centerof Communication and Culture (ECCC) in Warsaw. Future workshop topics will include otherareas of communications, human resources, and management of Church finances.
Thisbi-annual event will help bishops share their experiences with pastoralactivities in their dioceses amidst the constantly changing situation inEastern Europe.
Despitecontinued tough economic conditions for many people in the United States, thedonations to this Collection continue to grow.
"Catholicsin the United States are clearly very committed to this Collection," BishopCupich said. "Their support of the Church in these geographical areas indicatesboth gratitude for their immigrant heritage of the past and a genuine hope forthe future of Central and Eastern Europe." The annual collection focuses on thetheme "Restore the Church, Build the Future."
The Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central andEastern Europe oversees the Collection for the Church in Central and EasternEurope as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. The annualcollection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe is held in mostparishes on Ash Wednesday.
Moreinformation on the Collection and the projects it funds can be found online:www.usccb.org/catholic-giving/opportunities-for-giving/central-and-eastern-europe/
Keywords: Collection to Aid the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, USCCB, BishopBlase J. Cupich, Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and EasternEurope, national collection, reconstruction, infrastructure, pastoral
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