US church to collect for Central and Eastern Europe

The US bishops have announced an Ash Wednesday collection, March 9, to aid Catholics in Central and Eastern Europe.

The USCCB is organizing the parish collection on the theme “Great Needs Remain” to raise awareness of the impoverishment of the Church in that region, Zenit reports.

A press release from the conference noted in particular the “aging physical structures, insufficient funding, and a lack of trained lay persons and religious” as challenges of the Catholics in Central and Eastern Europe.

Cardinal Justin Rigali, archbishop of Philadelphia and chairman of the conference’s Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, affirmed, “Our assistance is vital to the growth and strength of the Church in these regions.”

Last year, the subcommittee was able to give 112 scholarships to students in that region with the donations collected. It also gave $6.3. million to fund 314 projects in 21 countries.

For example, funds were sent to help repair a broken heating system in a Poor Clare convent in Przasnysz, Poland, where 22 nuns whose illnesses were exacerbated by the lack of heating in that region’s severe winters.

SOURCE

Aids Catholics in Former Communist Countries (Zenit.org)

PHOTO

themanwithsalthair on Flickr (Fotopedia)