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WASHINGTON—The Catholic Relief Services Collection prioritizes families, values their fundamental role in society and strives to protect them. The national date for this collection, which touches over 100 million lives through the six worldwide agencies it supports, is set for the weekend of March 17-18.
“The Catholic Relief Services Collection keeps Jesus’s message of caring for the least of these in the forefront through the good works done for Catholics worldwide. Even though times are hard, I encourage Catholics throughout the United States to continue to donate and support this important collection,” said Bishop Kevin J. Farrell of Dallas, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on National Collections.
The theme of the Catholic Relief Services Collection is “Jesus in Disguise: How will you help?” This year the focus continues to be on the family. The collection helps families by providing basic humanitarian aid and life-skills training to those in need, protecting poor families all over the world, advocating for policies that strengthen families abroad, and resettling and welcoming refugees forced from their homes.
Recently, collection funds helped Sipho Ncube, a widow and mother of three from Zimbabwe. Sipho was selected by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the Organization for Rural Associations for Progress to receive assistance from a small livestock pilot project. The initiative helps extremely poor families lift themselves out of poverty by giving them goats, pigs and poultry to build household wealth. Project staff showed Sipho how to properly care for, house and breed her animals, which allowed her to sell the offspring and feed her family during hardships and food shortages.
Funds from the Collection also help Parishes Organized to Welcome Refugees (POWR). POWR is an initiative sponsored by the USCCB Department of Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) that works to develop long-term, sustainable programs to help resettle refugees across the United States. In the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida, POWR helps refugees find work. Many of them lack employment and credit histories and, often, job skills. The POWR program stresses the importance of good interview skills and explains U.S. hiring procedures.
The Catholic Relief Services Collection funds six Catholic agencies. In addition to MRS and CRS, the other agencies funded by the collection include Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC); the USCCB’s Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, which provides outreach and pastoral care to different ethnic and cultural groups; the Holy Father’s Relief Fund, which provides assistance to victims of natural disasters and other emergencies around the world; and the USCCB’s Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development, which advocates for poor and vulnerable peopleand for international justice and peace.
Additional information on The Catholic Relief Services Collection can be found at www.usccb.org/about/national-collections.
Keywords: National Collections, The Catholic Relief Services Collection, CRS, MRS, CLINIC, Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, USCCB Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, The Holy Father’s Relief Fund, Bishop Kevin Farrell
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