WASHINGTON (July 16, 2007)—The Catholic Church in the United States will give $628,000 to 51 programs in Africa, the first ever grants from the bishops' Pastoral Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa.
The awards were announced by Bishop John H. Ricard, SSJ, Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Church in Africa. The awards will support a range of pastoral activities including pastoral care, formation of seminarians and clergy, Catholic education, youth ministry, catechesis and social communications.
In a letter to bishops announcing the grants, Bishop Ricard said that "the Church in Africa is both the fastest growing part of the Universal Church and the neediest part of our family of faith. Its spiritual wealth is unfortunately matched by its desperate material poverty. These grants will help the Church in Africa both to meet its current needs and to realize its enormous potential."
The Pastoral Solidarity Fund was established in November 2004 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Bishops and dioceses support the fund annually through special collections, diocesan appeals, direct contributions, major donor drives, fundraising events and other voluntary initiatives.
Funded activities include a Catholic Youth Formation Program in Ghana ($15,000), Training of Catechists, Youth Leaders & Leaders of Lay Movements in Malawi ($15,000), Catechetical Handbooks for Primary and Secondary Levels in Rwanda ($25,000), Pastoral Activites in Sudan ($50,000), Trauma Healing and Training of Church Personnel in Sudan ($25,000) and Sacramental Rituals Translation and Catechetical Syllabus in Zimbabwe ($20,000).
A total list of grants can be found at http://www.usccb.org/churchinafrica/.