U.S. Bishops Donating Funds to Africa

WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 16, 2007 (Zenit.org).- U.S. bishops will give $628,000 to 51 programs benefiting the Church in Africa.

The grants are the first monetary allocation from the bishops’ Pastoral Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa, established in November 2004 by the U.S. episcopal conference.

The gifts, announced by Bishop John Ricard, chairman of the ad hoc committee for the Church in Africa, will support a range of pastoral activities including formation of seminarians and clergy, Catholic education, youth ministry, catechesis and social communications.

In a letter to bishops announcing the grants, Bishop Ricard said: “The Church in Africa is both the fastest growing part of the universal Church and the neediest part of our family of faith.

“Its spiritual wealth is unfortunately matched by its desperate material poverty. These grants will help the Church in Africa both to meet its current needs and to realize its enormous potential.”

The fund is supported by bishops and dioceses through special collections, diocesan appeals, direct contributions, major donor drives and fundraising events.