The Catholic Relief Services Collection Reveals Christ’s Love to the World’s Most Vulnerable
Catholics across the United States will help suffering people around the world by giving to The Catholic Relief Services Collection, sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and taken up in dioceses across the country.
WASHINGTON - On March 18-19, Catholics across the United States will help suffering people around the world by giving to The Catholic Relief Services Collection, sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and taken up in dioceses across the country.
Some dioceses take the collection on a different date. #iGiveCatholicTogether also accepts donations for this collection.
“Whenever you give, your offering is multiplied by thousands of Catholics, bringing Christ’s love through rescue and relief activities to the most vulnerable and marginalized people on earth,” said Bishop James Wall of Gallup, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on National Collections.
In addition to providing support for Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops’ international relief and development agency, the collection also funds programs of several other ministries, including: the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), the Holy Father’s Relief Fund, the USCCB’s Department of Migration and Refugee Services for refugee resettlement; the Department of International Justice and Peace, which advocates for the rights and protection of suffering people worldwide; and the USCCB’s Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, for evangelization and ministry among immigrants and itinerant communities in the United States.
Gifts from the 2021 collection – the last from which accounting is complete – sought to Reveal Christ’s Love to refugees, victims of wars and disasters, and people with unique pastoral needs. A few examples include:
- The USCCB’s Department of Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) worked with local Catholic Charities offices to resettle more than 75,000 Afghan refugees in the United States. By supporting policy initiatives on behalf of refugees and immigrants, personnel costs of MRS staff, and program costs associated with outreach like the Afghan refugee resettlement program, funding from The Catholic Relief Services Collection helps make MRS a leader in addressing the needs of vulnerable migrants.
- The USCCB’s Department of International Justice and Peace worked toward an end to the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo that has killed 6 million, bringing Congolese religious leaders to meet with U.S. officials in Washington and promote policies that can bring peace.
- An International Freedom Summit co-sponsored by the USCCB’s Department of International Justice and Peace bringing human rights advocates from all over the world to Washington, sharing the testimony of survivors of religious persecution and urging U.S. leaders to defend religious freedom.
- Catholic Relief Services, the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States, trained South Sudanese refugees at a camp in Uganda as leaders who assist all camp residents regardless of ethnicity and improve communications between camp residents and aid agencies.
- The USCCB program for the Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees and Travelers supported Stella Maris, a ministry at ports along the Gulf Coast whose missionaries bring sacraments, pastoral support and care packages to seafarers. One ship captain told these missionaries, “You not only provide items that all require and have trouble obtaining due to the pandemic, you remind these guys that someone is thinking about them.”
Given the great needs among people who were already suffering before the COVID pandemic, Bishop Wall asked Catholics to prayerfully consider giving more to the collection this year.
“Bring hope to those who do not know how they will survive, who feel alone and no longer believe that anyone cares about them,” he said. “Although you cannot see the recipients, God does. When you give to this collection you become His instruments of love and mercy.”
More information on this collection, including resources for promoting it in bulletins and on social media, is at https://www.usccb.org/national-collection/catholic-relief-services-collection.