The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe has approved 99 grants totaling nearly $2.5 million to fund projects such as church reconstruction, youth programs, evangelization initiatives and family ministry efforts.
“Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the countries of the former USSR have been struggling to create spaces for prayer and spiritual growth,” said Archbishop Blase J. Cupich of Chicago, chairman of the Subcommittee on the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. “Providing for all of the pastoral needs of those in that region can be a real challenge. These grants from the Subcommittee help meet such great need.”
Among the projects approved for support, the Subcommittee awarded a grant to Tervezz Természetesen Egyesület (TeTe) – Plan Naturally Association – located in the Diocese of Szombathely, Hungary. The funds will help establish a model for monitoring, maintaining and evaluating a woman's reproductive and gynecological health and offering natural solutions for infertility. TeTe will also create a professional office setting and purchase the technical equipment needed to provide pro-life medical services. In addition, they will translate English materials to Hungarian and help defray the cost of clients' registration for post-abortion retreats through the Hungarian Rachel's Vineyard Association.
The Subcommittee also awarded a grant to the Albertine Sisters in the Diocese of St. Joseph in Irkutsk, Russia. The grant will be used to build a daycare center to serve children from socially or economically disadvantaged families. The sisters currently provide care and meals for 50 children in a safe environment that fosters their growth and spiritual development. The new center will be centrally located for the families and will allow the sisters to continue their ministry.
The Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe oversees the annual collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe and the allocation of grants as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. The next collection is scheduled to take place on Ash Wednesday, February 10, 2016, although some dioceses schedule the collection for a different date.
More information about the collection and the work of the Subcommittee is available at www.usccb.org/ccee.