At their meeting on June 9, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America approved funding for 112 projects, totaling over $1.7 million. The funds will be disbursed as grants to aid the pastoral work of the Church in the Caribbean and Latin America.
“Through the generosity of Catholics around the country, we were able to continue our mission of supporting the Church in Latin America by approving grant applications during our June meeting,” said Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the subcommittee. “It’s a beautiful thing, to witness the sharing of resources in the United States with more isolated and financially challenged dioceses in Latin America. We see that these grants are building capacity and, most importantly, these grants fund projects that strengthen and encourage people, allowing them to grow in their faith and share it with others.”
The top funded countries for this grant cycle are Colombia, Haiti, Peru, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Nicaragua. In Colombia, youth organizations will receive funding for workshops to help them grow in their faith and work to build peace in the face of local violence caused by guerillas. One grant will support seminarians in Peru that come from very poor families in two of the country’s indigenous ethnic groups. In Brazil, missionaries will receive training and support for their work with the indigenous communities of the Amazon.
Other projects funded at this meeting will focus on the formation of lay catechists and the pastoral care needs created by migration. A few other projects are for education and training for religious communities of sisters and pastoral ministry to families.
In addition to the projects funded by the Collection for the Church in Latin America, the subcommittee also approved 6 projects for the reconstruction of the Church in Haiti, totaling $2,933,659. Funding for these projects comes from the special collection for the Church in Haiti taken in 2010.
“The Church in Haiti is experiencing a period of rebuilding and renewal after the 2010 earthquake,” said Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, chairman of the subcommittee’s Haiti Advisory Group. “We need to remain committed to walking with our brothers and sisters in faith, and seeing them through these building projects until they once again have places to worship.”
All USCCB aid for reconstruction work in Haiti goes through the Partnership for Reconstruction of the Church in Haiti (PROCHE), an entity of the Haitian Bishops’ Conference.
The Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America oversees the Collection for the Church in Latin America as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. More information on the Collection for the Church in Latin America and the projects it funds can be found online: www.usccb.org/catholic-giving/opportunities-for-giving/latin-america/index.cfm.