Collection for Catholics in post-Communist countries to take place Ash Wednesday
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has announced that the 2008 Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe will take place in most parishes on February 6, Ash Wednesday.

The collection’s theme, “Love is the only light,” is taken from Pope Benedict XVI’s first encyclical “Deus Caritas Est,” “God is Love,” in which he writes, “Love is the light—and in the end, the only light—that can always illuminate a world grown dim and give us the courage needed to keep living and working.”

The USCCB established the collection shortly after the collapse of Communism to help the Church regain her footing in countries that had driven Catholics underground.  Priests, bishops, and lay leaders were imprisoned.  Churches, schools, and seminaries were left to decay or were converted to other uses.

“As a result of this severe repression, the bishops of the region today face the formidable tasks of restoring church structures and, more importantly, of rebuilding the spiritual centers of their communities. Now more than ever, the ecclesial needs of Catholics in Central and Eastern Europe must be tenderly cared for,” said Cardinal Justin Rigali, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe.

Since 1991, the collection has provided more than $100 million to Catholics in post-Communist Russia as well as Central and Eastern Europe.  More than 3,500 projects in more than 25 countries have been supported by the collection.  The projects include a ministry to Magdan, Russia, which once held a Stalinist labor camp and educational endeavors in war-torn Kosovo.

The good that these collections accomplish is heartening. The website for the aid effort relates several stories, one of which comes from the town of Ushachi, Belarus.

Bishop Wladyslaw Blin of Vitebsk consecrated a new Catholic church built with assistance from the American collection.  The old church had been shut down during the Soviet era, and collapsed from disrepair.

One woman wept outside as the concelebrants gathered in front of the church. 

“What’s wrong?” asked one of the priests.

“I am thinking about my parents,” the woman said through her tears, “and the day I walked by here as a little girl. There was nothing but a pile of ruins. I asked them what it was. They said, ‘a church.’ For years and years, I thought ‘church’ meant a mass of rubble.”

“Now I’ve lived to this day to see this wonderful building and to join in the celebration. It is truly God’s miracle!” she exclaimed through tears of joy.”

The Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe will continue to fund such activities, one official with the campaign said.

“The story of the Church in Central and Eastern Europe is a story of vitality and growth, a story of steadfastness and hope. Where darkness once seemed to reign, the light of love has broken through,” said Father James M. McCann S.J., executive director of the Collection for the Church in Eastern Europe.

More information about the collection and the blessings it has brought can be found at http://www.usccb.org/aee/

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea

Liturgical Calendar

December 29, 2014

Fifth Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27


Daily Readings

First Reading:: 1 Jn 2: 3-11
Gospel:: Lk 2: 22-35

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27