WASHINGTON — The Catholic Relief Services Collection will take place the weekend of March 9 to March 10. This year’s collection theme: “Jesus in Disguise: How will you help?” invites Catholics to influence the lives of more than 100 million people at home and abroad, particularly families affected by persecution, war and natural disasters.
“The Catholic Relief Services Collection enacts Jesus’ message of caring for the least of our brothers and sisters through providing humanitarian aid and ongoing resources. This collection provides an opportunity for Catholics in the United States to help suffering families around the world,” said Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Cincinnati, chairman of the Committee on National Collections of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is the official overseas relief and development agency of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Recent collection funds have helped CRS establish water programs in 40 countries around the world. In East Africa, for example, where a terrible drought sent millions from their homes in search of food and water, some farmers in Ethiopia stayed home. Their thriving crops and livestock needed tending. Long before the drought struck, CRS built more than 700 water sources that provide clean water to 2.1 million people there.
In Sudan, the youth of West Darfur with little or no access to education, have been given a second chance through CRS’ Accelerated Learning project. Since 2005, this project has enabled CRS to build and rehabilitate hundreds of classrooms and has allowed more than 600 CRS-trained teachers to put their good training into practice.
In addition to CRS, the Catholic Relief Services Collection funds five other Catholic agencies: USCCB’s Migration and Refugee Services, which helps resettle refugees in the United States; USCCB’s Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, which provides outreach and pastoral care to ethnic and cultural groups; USCCB’s Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, which advocates for poor and vulnerable people and for inter-national justice and peace; Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC); and the Holy Father’s Relief Fund, which provides assistance to victims of natural disasters and other emergencies around the world.
More information on the Catholic Relief Services Collection and the projects it funds can be found online at: www.usccb.org/catholic-giving/opportunitiesfor-giving/catholic-relief-services-collection/