WASHINGTON (CNS) — The president of the U.S. bishops’ conference Aug. 19 asked Catholic bishops across the country to take up a special collection for humanitarian needs and pastoral support for Christians and other victims of violence in the Middle East.
Amid the ongoing crisis in what is “the cradle of Christianity,” the Catholic Church “mourns the terrible suffering of Christians and other innocent victims of violence in Iraq, Syria and Gaza who are struggling to survive, protect their children and live with dignity in dire conditions,” said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky.
Emphasizing “the extraordinary nature of this crisis,” he urged the bishops to have parishes in their dioceses hold the collection the weekend of Sept. 6-7 or Sept. 13-14 and to send the contributions as soon as possible to the Office of National Collections at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington.
Funds from the collection will be used by Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops’ overseas relief and development organization, and other Catholic agencies “working in partnership with the local church” to meet the most urgent humanitarian needs of people in the three countries, he said in a letter to his fellow bishops.
The agencies also will use the money to help refugees who have fled Iraq, Syria and Gaza to neighboring countries.
“Our Christian brothers and sisters and other innocent victims of the violence in the Middle East urgently need the assistance of the Catholic community of the United States,” Archbishop Kurtz said.
CRS and other agencies “have well-established partnerships with the Catholic Church in the region which allow them to respond quickly and efficiently to victims in some of the hardest to reach areas,” he explained.
The collection money also will be used to support church programs, to aid persecuted Christians and “to respond to rebuilding needs of Catholic dioceses in the impacted areas,” he said and asked for continued prayers “for the victims of this crisis.”
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103