WASHINGTON – In the midst of Advent as the Catholic Church prepares for the birth of our Lord at Christmas, the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on National Collections expressed his gratitude for the generosity of the Catholic faithful who, even throughout pandemic hardships, have given generously to the national collections that strengthen faith communities and help those in need.
“Catholics who have given to these national collections, even perhaps when they were themselves in need, have shown our world the loving face of Jesus,” said Bishop James S. Wall of Gallup, chairman of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. “To the faithful who have prayerfully supported the good work of the Church by giving to these national collections, I wish to extend on behalf of the U.S. bishops my heartfelt gratitude. Your gifts are transforming the lives of struggling communities and hurting people through practical assistance to the poor and by helping to spread the gospel of Jesus in places where the Church is new, small, or challenged.”
Through eight annual special collections administered by the USCCB, Catholics supported the Church’s works of evangelization, catechesis, social justice, and community development locally, nationally, and globally:
- Churches and other houses of worship have long been the first and most important welcoming communities when new refugees arrive in the United States. The Catholic Relief Services Collection helps strengthen the bonds of all religious communities with refugees and with each other.
- With support from the Catholic Communication Campaign, CAPP-USA produced ten videos and six infographics explaining the core concepts of Catholic Social Teaching and how they apply to current social issues.
- In Tennessee, Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment works to keep poisons out of streams and wells and helps mining communities transition to sustainable energy with support from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
- A priest in Gallup, NM, whose parish is so remote that families often cannot gather weekly for religious education, received support from the Catholic Home Missions Appeal to run a three-week faith formation camp. It is bringing young people to Jesus – and inspiring them to bring their parents back to the Church.
- Refugees from a civil war in Cameroon received guidance, supported by the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa, to help them heal from emotional and spiritual trauma.
- Homeless people in Croatia are turning their lives around with help from Depaul Croatia, which received support from the Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe.
- Lay leaders in Brazil received nine months of spiritual formation for evangelization training with support from the Collection for the Church in Latin America. They learned how to share the Gospel and lovingly address difficult issues, including sexuality and abuse.
- Thanks to the generosity of Catholics across the United States to the Bishops Emergency Disaster Fund, Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Relief Services received essential support for their humanitarian and long-term recovery work and dioceses devastated by hurricanes and other disasters received funding for essential pastoral and reconstruction efforts.
Most of the national collections are taken up once a year by dioceses in their parishes. New in 2021, the online giving platform #iGiveCatholicTogether provided additional opportunities for giving, allowing more people to make an impact through these USCCB programs.
“Even a modest donation to a national collection makes a multi-million-dollar impact as individual gifts are joined with those of Catholics in other parishes across the country,” Bishop Wall said. “By providing an additional platform for support, #iGiveCatholicTogether is helping Catholics to follow Jesus’ command to aid the ‘least of these’ among our brothers and sisters.”
Learn more at: www.usccb.org/committees/national-collections.
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