The following was written by the bishop of Gallup, New Mexico, who is chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on National Collections.
Catholic Relief Services is a major beneficiary of an annual collection taken up each year on the Fourth Sunday of Lent — this year, the weekend of March 26-27.
In this diocese, contributions to the combined collection benefit: Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and the Holy Father’s Relief Fund; the USCCB’s Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, and Department of Migration and Refugee Services; the Peter’s Pence fund; and the Franciscan Commissariat of the Holy Land.
Please give generously.
When we learn about the many ways that we can reveal Christ’s love and mercy to people in need, whether in our own neighborhoods or overseas, our immediate response should be prayer.
Our next response should be action.
The upcoming Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Collection delivers action through emergency aid to people in lands affected by disasters or war, assistance to migrants and refugees who are trying to adapt to the laws and life in the United States, pastoral ministries to those with specific cultural or occupational needs, as well as advocacy and education rooted in Catholic teaching to help suffering people build new lives and livelihoods.
Pope Francis calls this kind of action “organizing hope.”
“This is what is asked of us: to be, amid the ruins of the everyday world, tireless builders of hope; to be light as the sun grows dark, to be loving witnesses of compassion amid widespread disinterest,” the Holy Father said in his homily on the 2021 World Day for the Poor.
“Unless our hope translates into decisions and concrete gestures of concern, justice, solidarity and care for our common home, the sufferings of the poor will not be relieved, the economy of waste that forces them to live on the margins will not be converted, their expectations will not blossom anew. We Christians, in particular, have to organize hope.”
The CRS Collection reveals Christ’s love and organizes hope in the United States and worldwide through the generosity of the Catholic people of the United States.
It aids six Church organizations that protect human life and promote human dignity:
Your gift to this collection delivers real help and comfort to people worldwide.
Joined with that of Catholics across the United States, it also educates the faithful about how to be “organizers of hope.”
Of more than $8 million distributed from the collection in 2020, about three-quarters supported overseas disaster relief, international development, and assistance to migrants and refugees.
Nearly 25% went to education, advocacy and pastoral care; and less than 3% went toward program oversight and promoting the collection.
This makes it one of the most efficient and effective channels you could possibly choose for your gifts.
The Catholic Church is living the Gospel worldwide. We have boots on the ground amid headline-grabbing disasters and in the hidden places where millions of our neighbors are in crises that never make the news.
The gifts of Catholic parishioners to the CRS Collection accomplish extraordinary good around the world and within our Church. They truly fulfill Pope Francis’ call for Catholics to “organize hope.”
To learn more about how the Catholic Relief Services Collection makes a difference visit usccb.org/catholic-relief.
#iGiveCatholicTogether also accepts funds for the collection.