Peter Brings "Pence" to the Poor

Annual Collection to Aid Poorest in Economic Crisis

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 25, 2009 ( This Sunday, many parishes worldwide will participate in the Pope’s charity campaign through the Peter’s Pence collection, which will distribute aid to those most in need during this economic recession.

The collection traditionally takes place on the Sunday nearest the solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, which this year falls on Monday, or on another day as designated by the local ordinary.

The money collected on this day will not fund the Holy See, but will be exclusively dedicated to aid the poorest local Churches.

The Peter’s Pence collection includes contributions from institutes of consecrated life, societies of apostolic life and foundations, as well as donations from individual lay people.

In 2007, this collection gathered almost $80 million, and in the previous year, over $100 million.

The United States was the biggest donor, giving some 28% of the total. It was followed by Italy (13%), Germany (6%), Spain (4%), France (3.7%), Ireland (3%), Brazil (2%) and Korea (1.6%).

One donor, who wished to remain anonymous, gave a donation of $14,309,400.

This assistance was given to regions affected by natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods, or people afflicted by violence.

For example, Benedict XVI gave a donation through the Pontifical Council Cor Unum to the people of Gaza after the post-Christmas violence and bombing.

The Peter’s Pence collection has also aided the Nazareth Boys Town in Mbare, Rwanda, which give a home to orphans who are frequently victims of the genocide and civil war.

Some of the funds were allocated to aid farmers and indigenous people in Latin America through the Populorum Progressio Foundation, and another portion went to support development projects in sub-Saharan Africa through the John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel.

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