The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Subcommittee on the Church in Africa approved 56 grants totaling just over $1.5 million in funding to support dioceses and pastoral projects across the African continent at its meeting on June 10, 2019, in Baltimore, Maryland.
Projects slated to receive funding through the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa include the following:
● In Malawi, in response to the challenges facing marriage and family life, the National Pastoral Commission will organize training for national and diocesan leaders of Family Movements and marriage counselors from all eight dioceses within the country to help engaged couples invest in their relationships for a lasting marriage. The grant will provide a series of five-day workshops in four different regions of Malawi to train approximately 200 leaders who will then train others at the local level to offer marriage preparation courses.
● National pastoral coordinators and youth leaders from eight countries across Eastern Africa will receive training based on Pope Francis’s post-synodal apostolic exhortation Christus Vivit. In addition to building capacity, the workshops will aim to develop a robust five-year plan to engage young people to act as missionary disciples and agents of evangelization throughout the region.
● The Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa will convene representatives from its eight member countries for a five-day conference to raise awareness, increase skills and improve coordination on human migration issues. In addition, they will produce and disseminate across the region a popularized version of a booklet containing model legislation and policies related to migrants and refugees using Vatican and other international sources.
● The Inter-regional Meeting of Bishops of Southern Africa (IMBISA) will convene a colloquium to facilitate the study of Laudato Si’ by seminary rectors and professors of Catholic Social Teaching from nine countries across the southern African region. The grant will help fund the development of plans and the publishing of a document to help seminary staff and seminarians gain a greater understanding of Pope Francis’ teaching on care for our common home.
“The Church in Africa is pioneering many innovative programs that, without the support of the Solidarity Fund, the episcopal conferences and local dioceses may not otherwise be able to host. I am grateful for the generous support of the faithful of the United States who support the Solidarity Fund and help the Church in Africa to address the crucial pastoral issues of our day,” said Cardinal Joseph Tobin, CSsR, of Newark, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Church in Africa.
Additional areas of funding include seminarian and religious formation, evangelization, family ministries, and lay leadership training.
The Subcommittee on the Church in Africa oversees the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. It allocates revenue received from the Solidarity Fund, which is a voluntary collection, as pastoral grants to episcopal conferences and their regional associations in Africa. To learn more about the work of the Subcommittee visit www.usccb.org/africa.