American Bishops call on the faithful to give generously to support their Catholic brothers and sisters in Africa, saying their commitment will make a real and tangible difference in the lives of countless people.
By Vatican News reporter
The Church in the United States traditionally dedicates the months of July and August to solidarity with Africa. Once again this year, the bishops of the nation invite the faithful to contribute generously to the annual fundraising established for this purpose. The annual initiative, launched in 2004, is coordinated by the Special Sub-Commission of the Episcopal Conference (USCCB) responsible for supporting pastoral projects for the development of the Church in Africa, especially those related to youth, Catholic schools. , the training of clergy and laity and the promotion of peace in conflict zones.
Endemic poverty, ecological disasters, poor governance, endless conflicts and massive displacement of people continue to plague much of the continent, which remains one of the most politically and economically marginalized regions in the world. “Yet Africa is also a continent of immense spiritual vitality, where the People of God – ordained and lay – share the Gospel with a joy that should inspire us all to do the same,” said Cardinal Joseph Tobin, Archbishop of Newark and Chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee on the Church in Africa.
Donations from American Catholics, the cardinal explained, help “provide the basic resources that the Church in Africa needs in her pastoral mission to deepen the faith of her people, evangelize her neighbors, strengthen her leadership and promote peace. and justice ”. Cardinal Tobin stressed that “every dollar” given through church offerings or sent online “goes a long way to making a real difference in the faith lives of individuals, families and communities across Africa. “.
Due to lockdowns imposed last year against the Covid-19 pandemic, with many churches closed to worshipers for long periods of time, donations to the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa declined dramatically, just as African countries needed it most. Nevertheless, the Sub-Commission was able to finance important projects, in particular:
– Provide training in psychological counseling and human rights to catechists in war-torn Cameroon,
– Provide funding to the Episcopal Conference of Burundi to expand protection and awareness programs to fight against violence and sexual abuse of minors,
– Support a four-day national seminar for teachers in the Republic of Congo,
– And in Zambia, which suffers from a serious shortage of priests, by funding Bible training seminars to help local lay leaders understand the Word of God.
“Donations to the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa support the Church’s mission to bring hope, to foster understanding and healing among diverse peoples, and to help spread the Good News of the Church. love and mercy of God through Jesus Christ, ”said Cardinal Tobin. “The generosity of American Catholics has a tangible and lasting impact on the lives of our Catholic brothers and sisters. “
Learn more about the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa and how donations make a difference to www.usccb.org/afrique.