'Forming Disciples And Missionaries Of Jesus Christ,' Theme For 2008 Collection For The Church In Latin America
WASHINGTON— Forming Disciples and Missionaries of Jesus Christ is the theme for the 2008 Collection for the Church in Latin America. The Collection will be held in most Catholic parishes throughout the United States on the weekend of January 26-27, although some parishes might take up the Collection on another date.
The theme comes from the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America held in Aparecida, Brazil, last May. It also pays tribute to the long-standing collaboration of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops with the Church in Latin America.
For more than 45 years, proceeds from the Collection have been distributed to bishops' conferences, dioceses, parishes, religious congregations, seminaries, and other Catholic institutions in 25 countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean to assist in the formation of priests, religious, lay ministers, missionaries, pastoral workers, catechists and youth ministers.
In 2007, the Collection assisted 562 projects in 63 parish-based programs, 236 diocesan programs, 88 religious community programs, 37 seminaries and 86 programs sponsored by episcopal conferences, up from 476 in 2006. A total of $7,720,000 was awarded in 2007, almost 2 million more than the prior year.
The Collection for the Church in Latin America is to provide direct aid to dioceses and Catholic entities for the needs of the local Church. Highlights of the projects approved last November to be pursued during 2008 are:
- Help for countries like the Dominican Republic, Peru and Uruguay to launch the 'Great Continental Mission in Latin America' called for by the Fifth General Conference of the Latin American Bishops (CELAM.) The Continental Mission seeks to invite back into the Church those who might have left the Catholic Church and to give testimony to the joy of being a disciple of Jesus to the people of the continent.
- Emergency aid to local churches for the reconstruction of seven church buildings fallen during the last year's earthquake in Ica and Yauyos, Peru, and for 85 chapels affected after Hurricane Felix in Nicaragua.
- Other projects include aid to construct future cathedral of Las Tunas in Cuba, and aid to the bishops in Haiti to launch a special basic educational program based in local parishes to help educate the poor and the elderly.
More information on the collection and its beneficiaries can be found on the collection's Web page www.usccb.org/latinamerica or by contacting Msgr. Carlos Quintana Puente at firstname.lastname@example.org.