During their spring meeting in June 2023, the North American bishops approved allocating the funds raised during the second national collections to subsidize various projects of the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, the Church in Latin America, the Church in Africa and for domestic emergencies caused by natural disasters. Each of these second national collections were collected in all the churches of the country on different Sundays in 2022.
"St. Paul wrote that when one Christian suffers, all Christians suffer because we are all part of one Body of Christ," said Msgr. James S. Wall, Bishop of Gallup and chairman of the National Collections Committee for the USCCB. "That unity is at the heart of these collections, which bring faith, hope and love to people in need and reach out to the most intricate and remote places on the planet. It also helps victims of disasters in our own nation," the prelate said.
Aid for the Church in Africa
Resources for the Church in Africa1.1 million will be used, among other projects, to train young Ethiopian Catholics as peace promoters in Ethiopia's Catholic schools. Ethiopia has been living under armed conflict for three generations, and there is therefore a need to promote peace in all sectors. The funds for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, amounting to US$5.1 million, will be allocated to 196 apostolate projects, including humanitarian aid initiatives in Ukraine and Kazakhstan, where evangelization is permitted only within churches. The Karaganda diocese will use the grant to host free music concerts at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Fatima.
During the pandemic, these events were an opportunity to talk about the faith and build ties of dialogue with those who do not profess Catholicism.
Grants for Latin America
For the Church in Latin America, 122 grants totaling US$2.65 million will be awarded for projects ranging from the reconstruction of buildings that collapsed during earthquakes to the education of novices. In the Moyobamba region of Peru, the funds will be used to train 130 lay formators in 110 rural communities. Finally, funds set aside for national emergencies will be awarded for rebuilding parishes in the Diocese of Venice, Florida, which was hit by Hurricane Ian in September 2022. Whether for peace efforts, or for aid to victims of war or natural disasters, "each of these collections responds to Jesus' call to care for him in the person of our suffering neighbor," said Bishop Wall.