WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 2, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The U.S. bishops’ conference approved an additional set of grants for the Church in Latin America, bringing the total for the first half of 2008 to $4 million.
The Church in the States supports Latin American faithful with grants each year. The majority of the funds come from a Sunday collection, taken up in most parishes in January.
The financial support provides aid for seminary and religious formation, religious education, catechesis and youth ministries, evangelization, lay formation and ministry, diaconate training and research.
“The grants enable Catholics in these regions — who are rich in faith, but often lacking in material resources — to participate more fully in the life of the Church as disciples and respond to their call to mission,” the bishops’ site explains.
The June grants include:
— $135,000 for youth ministry programs that continue to evangelize and engage young Catholics in countries including Ecuador, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic.
— $62,000 to assist rural ministry in Chile, Brazil and Peru.
— Nearly $100,000 to support family pastoral ministry, including $15,000 to help experts who work in centers that promote Natural Family Planning methods attend the third Pan-American Congress on NFP to be held in Honduras this month.
The grants will also support events in Latin America, including the 3rd All-America Mission Congress in Quito, Ecuador, in August. The congress will be used to kick off the “Gran Misión Continental,” which will implement the recommendations of the 5th General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean, inaugurated by Benedict XVI last May in Brazil.
The bishops will give another round of grants in November.
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On the Net:
Complete list of grants: www.usccb.org/latinamerica/lajunprojs.htm