USCCB News Release
February 4, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Catholics Urged to Give ‘Faith to the Future’ Through Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe
WASHINGTON—Years after the fall of communism, even though some are now European Union citizens, the Catholics of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union still have great needs. The 2010 Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, slated for February 17, Ash Wednesday, will focus on the theme “Great needs remain. Give faith to the future.”
In 28 countries, the Subcommittee to Aid the Catholic Church in Central and Eastern Europe of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops funds hundreds of projects. Many parish communities still worship in inadequate places. Children and the elderly count on the Church for material and spiritual sustenance. Future Church leaders ask for scholarships. Cathechists long for better training. The Catholic media are just beginning their work of spreading the Word of God.
“Without the charity and kindness of every [U.S.] Catholic who has generously opened his or her heart . . . I am sure we would still struggle alone in our poverty,” said Bishop Anton Cosa of the Diocese of Chisinau, Moldova, the poorest country in Europe. “When we experience your generosity, we know that we are not alone. We know that we are part of a great family. We are sure that Christ’s love for the poor will continue to find its expression until the end of time.”
In a bleak apartment under precarious conditions, the Catholics of Good Shepherd Parish in Aktau, Kazakhstan worship with deep and vigorous faith, and patiently wait for a suitable church where they can celebrate Mass properly. The Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe supports essential pastoral needs of the region, such as seminary formation, parish maintenance, and construction of churches.
The Collection also helps with social and charitable works that the local Church lacks the capacity to support, such as a series of shelter-homes for children and young people in Kapshagai, Kazakhstan, whose families face challenges too difficult to manage. The Church provides these children with shelter, food, clothing, vocational training, companionship, and love on behalf of their family members in the hope that they can someday resume care.
The video documentary, Interrupted Lives: Catholic Sisters Under European Communism, which recently aired on the ABC Network, received production support from the Collection. The film explores the harrowing, yet faith-filled experiences of Catholic sisters in Central and Eastern Europe who endured and overcame the persecution of Soviet power.
For more information about the Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, visit: www.usccb.org/aee
Keywords: Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, National Collections, USCCB, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, U.S. Bishops, Interrupted Lives: Catholic Sisters Under European Communism