WASHINGTON(March 3, 2005)—The Catholic Relief Services Collection, which supports emergency relief, human development, and peace initiatives in 99 countries around the world, will be taken up in most U.S. dioceses this weekend, March 5 and 6.
Formerly known as the American Bishops Overseas Appeal, the CRS collection asks Catholics to see Jesus in Disguise – in the faces of the poor, the hungry, and disadvantaged and to support ongoing efforts to meet the increasing needs of the Church's international social ministry.
The annual appeal, held in most U.S. dioceses the weekend of March 5-6, supports agencies that build the international social ministry of the Catholic Church through advocacy on behalf of powerless and impoverished people and relief and resettlement services to victims of earthquakes, floods, war, and religious and ethnic persecution.
Examples of how funds from the CRS Collection are used include:
For 60 years, generous support from Catholics for this appeal has provided core funding for the work of U.S. social ministry agencies of the Church engaged in international emergency relief, refugee resettlement, legal immigration, peacemaking, pastoral care, and advocacy for a more just and peaceful world.
Last year Catholics contributed more than $15 million to the American Bishops' Overseas Appeal, now known as the CRS Collection.
Organizations That Benefit from the CRS Collection
Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) is in its first year of funding from the Catholic Relief Services Collection. It provides a full range of legal and support services to Catholic programs directly representing poor immigrants. Its focus is reunification of families and protection of those fleeing persecution or civil unrest. To learn more, please contact Joe Ziska at (202) 635-2556 or visit www.ClinicLegal.org.
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is the official international humanitarian organization of the U.S. Catholic community. The Baltimore-based agency provides assistance to people in 99 countries and territories based on need, not race, creed, or nationality. To learn more, please contact Brian Backe at (410) 951-7280 or visit www.CatholicRelief.org.
Migration and Refugee Services (MRS), a department of the USCCB, serves and advocates for immigrants, refugees, migrants, and people on the move through advocacy, resettlement services, and pastoral care. To learn more, please contact Jim Kuh of MRS at (202) 541-3220 or visit www.USCCB.org/mrs.
Social Development and World Peace (SDWP), a department of the USCCB, advocates on behalf of the Church for public policies that protect the poor and vulnerable and advance peace and justice throughout the world. To learn more, please contact Joan Rosenhauer at (202) 541-3381 or visit www.USCCB.org/sdwp.
The Holy Father's Relief Fund assists victims of natural disasters and emergencies worldwide.
The Catholic Relief Services Collection will be held nationally the weekend of March 5-6, 2005, and continues the theme of "Jesus in Disguise," reminding the faithful of the presence of Christ in each of our brothers and sisters in need.
For more information, please visit www.usccb.org/crscollection.