.- The 2010 Collection for the Church in Latin America will be taken up in most U.S. parishes on the weekend of January 23-24. The collection, which has “Keep Faith” as its theme, is intended to assist the pastoral needs of the region by supporting dioceses, parishes and other Catholic institutions. In 2009 the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Subcommittee for the Church in Latin America distributed $6.8 million among 479 projects for catechesis, evangelization and training of religious personnel.
Its projects included helping in the formation of 20 novices and 70 junior sisters in Peru, evangelism among the Mapuche indigenous communities and training for 72 seminarians in the Archdiocese of Monterrey, Mexico, a USCCB press release says.
In August 2009 the subcommittee led a delegation to Cuba to observe how funds were used to rebuild churches and other structures after Hurricanes Gustav and Ike devastated the island in September 2008. The delegation toured the construction site of the new National Seminary, which the collection is helping to fund.
In September 2009 the collection provided funding for a national gathering of catechists in Brazil, while in December 2009 the subcommittee helped the Church in El Salvador after major floods.
Archbishop of San Antonio José H. Gomez, chairman of the subcommittee, said without the generosity of U.S. parishioners “our solidarity could not take shape into concrete programs of support and evangelization in Latin America.”
“Through your contribution you are being disciples and missionaries at the service of the body of Christ. On behalf of the U.S. bishops, as well as those who benefit from the collection, I offer my heartfelt thanks.”
While the national date for the collection has been set for the weekend of January 23-24, local dioceses may choose to participate on a different date.
More information about the collection and the projects it supports may be found at http://www.usccb.org/latinamerica.