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WASHINGTON—“Christ is the light which illumines the way” is the theme for the 2012 Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, which will be held in most parishes on February 22, Ash Wednesday. This collection supports essential unmet pastoral needs in Central and Eastern Europe and areas of Asia formerly under Soviet control.
“The collection is a way for Catholics in the United States to stand in solidarity and compassion with our brothers and sisters who suffered severe repression by the Soviet Union,” said Cardinal Justin Rigali, archbishop emeritus of Philadelphia and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Subcommittee for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. “This repression greatly weakened the Church. The region’s bishops are still facing the formidable task of restoring its church structures and, more importantly, rebuilding the spirituality of its communities.”
The Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe (CCEE Collection) provides support for basic pastoral programs, scholarships for student leaders in local churches and other important initiatives
Many elderly residents of the former Soviet region of Georgia awoke one morning to find their pensions and life savings gone. Former doctors, lawyers and musicians now find themselves with the equivalent of $50 a month on which to live. This stipend doesn’t even cover the cost of one loaf of bread per day, leaving nothing to pay for transportation, clothing, or medicine. Collection funds are essential to make sure medical dispensaries, shelters, religious and lay ministers are available to help those who live in the region.
“Through your donations, the Catholic Church is able to provide support for Catholic organizations that bring the light of Christ to the region,” said Cardinal Rigali. “Please continue to assist this important work for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe.”
For more information on the Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe visit www.usccb.org and search “Church in Central and Eastern Europe”.
The CCEE Collection is one of several nationwide collections sponsored by the USCCB National Collections Committee ( http://www.usccb.org/about/national-collections/ )
Keywords: Collection for the Church in Central and Easter Europe, former Soviet Union, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Sisters of Charity, medical dispensaries, shelter,clothing, scholarships, spirituality, church structures,lay leadership,National Collections, USCCB
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