As Pope Francis is making an Apostolic Visit to Bolivia, Ecuador, and Paraguay, July 5-13, US bishops are giving more than $3 million in grants to the Church in Latin America
According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB), the conference’s Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America approved more than $3.3 million to go toward funding some 228 projects.
Funds will be disbursed as grants to aid the pastoral work of the Church in the Caribbean and Latin America, with the most-funded nations in this grant cycle being Colombia, Peru, Haiti, Mexico, and Ecuador.
Some of the potential projects include training lay catechists, youth ministries, evangelization and communication. At a June 8 meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, the subcommittee approved the projects.
Certain approved initiatives will support the cultural and religious heritage of those of African descent who are living in Latin America and the Caribbean. In the Archdiocese of Cali in Colombia, one approved project will use music and dance to help children, adolescents and adults live out their faith within their culture. Some of the various workshops’ topics will include the history of musical instruments, Afro-Colombian music history, and faith and culture in the New Evangelization. Another project will fund a youth congress in the English-speaking Caribbean.
Moreover, the subcommittee also approved $346,000 for 32 pastoral projects for Haiti and $574,750 to four reconstruction grants for Church buildings in the country. Funding for these projects comes from the special collection for Haiti taken in 2010. All USCCB aid for reconstruction work in Haiti goes through the Partnership for Reconstruction of the Church in Haiti, an entity of the Haitian Bishops’ Conference.
In Nicaragua, the diocese of Managua received a grant to strengthen its sign-language ministry, which works toward better serve the needs of hearing-impaired Catholics and facilitate their access to receive the sacraments, attend Mass and fully participate in the life of the parish. Participants will learn sign language for religious themes, attend religious education classes and participate in a retreat.
While the collection for the Church in Latin America is scheduled for the fourth Sunday in January, some dioceses will take it up on other dates.
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