US bishops launch collection in solidarity with Church in Latin America

By Adelaide Mena

Share |
Increase font size Decrease font size

An upcoming collection designated for the Catholic Church in Latin America offers Catholics in the U.S. an opportunity to help share and deepen the faith of fellow Catholics in the New World.

“This collection offers an opportunity for all Catholics in the United States to show solidarity with the Church in Latin America and to share their faith with those who have fewer financial resources,” said Bishop Eusebio Elizondo Almaguer, an auxiliary of the Seattle archdiocese and chairman of the U.S. bishops' subcommittee on the Church in Latin America in a Jan. 6 statement.

 “It’s important that we give pastors, lay ministers, and catechists the tools they need so that Catholics in Latin America can face challenges and deepen their faith.”

The collection, which is scheduled for the weekend of Jan.25-26 throughout the United States, will go towards funding pastoral projects, particularly those aimed at helping Catholics to share their faith, as well as the formation of seminarians and religious.

“Catholics in Latin America and the Caribbean face many challenges when it comes to living and sharing their faith,” explained Bishop Elizondo, adding that the faithful in the region “also demonstrate tremendous courage and passion in the face of these obstacles.”

He explained that while at 2013’s Missionary Congress of the Americas, located in Maracaibo, Venezuela, the group focused on evangelization through its theme ‘Missionary America Share your Faith.’ While there, Bishop Elizondo continued, “I interacted with many young people from all over the Americas who were hopeful and willing to go out on mission and share with others the Good News and Joy of the Gospel.”

“The next Congress will take place in Bolivia and people there are willing to share what they have so they can welcome everyone in the name of Christ.”

“We too are called to share our faith with our brothers and sisters in Latin America and inspire one another by example.”

In 2013, according to the U.S. bishops, the special collection funded 393 grants totaling $5.5 million in aid, which was distributed throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

Some of the projects included the formation of lay leaders, including those in rural areas such as in Guatemala's Verapaz diocese. A parish in that community, with the help of the collection grant, will receive formation and catechetical training to help address the spiritual needs of over 2,000 youth spread throughout 122 villages.

The collection funds will also help provide social supports, such as for the Argentine organization Gravida, which helps expectant mothers, young children and the prevention of abortion in 21 dioceses across the country.

The collection for the Church in Latin America also helps continuing reconstruction projects in Haiti, particularly of churches, for structures destroyed by the Jan. 2010 earthquake and other natural disasters.

Share |
Increase font size Decrease font size