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

July 12, 2013 By Public Affairs Office

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

The grants fund leadershipformation, operations, construction and justice and peace. One grant will fundan interreligious dialogue program in the Diocese of Garissa, Kenya. Thediocese contains the major refugee camp of Daadab and the Kenyan military basefor operations in Somalia. "The work of interreligious dialogue in Kenya is ahuge step toward peace in Africa," said Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, chairmanof the Subcommittee on the Church in Africa. "If Muslim and Christian groupscan learn to see each other as allies, then they will be able to help oneanother to fight terrorism at its root causes, despair and lack of faith inGod's redeeming love, and repair the damage caused by attacks."

A diocesan program funded by a grantfrom the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa will host forums, trainingworkshops and peace building meetings in order to foster dialogue and educateMuslim and Christian groups. These initiatives will use the common groundbetween the two groups by addressing issues of civic concern, such as povertyand 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 BishopsConference. This initiative reaches out to youth in 29 dioceses, includingBotswana and Swaziland. The Education for Life Programme focuses on Christianvalues in order to teach the youth about their personal dignity. Throughretreats and workshops, the bishops hope to give the youth an experience ofconversion and the opportunity to make behavioral and lifestyle changes.

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

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

More information on the work of theSubcommittee on the Church in Africa can be found online at https://www.usccb.org/catholic-giving/opportunities-for-giving/solidarity-fund-for-africa/index.cfm

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Keywords: National Collections, USCCB, SolidarityFund 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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