Catholics in the Philadelphia Archdiocese gave more than $600,000 for two national collections taken up in churches here.
The Catholic Relief Services collection saw Catholics contribute $321,436 in 2016, according to a letter sent to Archbishop Charles Chaput Feb. 28 by the chairman of the collection, Archbishop Thomas Rodi of Mobile, Ala.
Participating in the annual collection enables donors to “share our joy of the Gospel with those who suffer: victims of war, persecution and natural disasters; immigrants and refugees; and other marginalized communities,” Archbishop Rodi wrote.
The collection for this year is scheduled for March 25-26 with the theme, “Help Jesus in Disguise.”
Six Catholic organizations benefit from the collection including Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, the Holy Father’s Relief Fund and three offices of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development; Department of Refugee and Migration Services; and Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church.
More recently, Philadelphia Catholics donated $310,895 last February to the Black and Indian Mission collection.
In a March 9 letter to Archbishop Chaput, the collection’s Executive Director Father Henry Sands said the collection supports those who “work as a family to help all of our brothers and sisters and share the love, faith and hope of Jesus Christ.”
Pastoral workers, he wrote, are led by the “missionary spirit of St. Katharine Drexel as we evangelize our African American, Native American and Alaska Native missions.”
The national collection was begun in 1884 and is “a successful vehicle to marshal our church’s resources to provide for those most in need,” Father Sands wrote.
The national Black and Indian Mission Office, which Archbishop Chaput serves as a member of the board of directors, disburses funds from the annual collection in the form of diocesan grants for local evangelization projects.