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US bishops show charities helped by special March collection

Couple donating to collection plate

Lisa F. Young | Shutterstock

J-P Mauro - published on 02/21/24

Ever wonder where the special collection goes? The USCCB outlines 5 charities that will be aided by the Catholic Relief Services special collection.

If you’re a regular Sunday Mass attendee, then you’re likely familiar with the special collections that come around a few times per year. While Catholics do generally give generously to special collections, there can be curiosity as to how these funds will be allocated. One special collection, however, will go to a number of worthy causes and the USCCB is asking for help from the whole flock.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is encouraging Catholics to donate to an upcoming special collection for Catholic Relief Services (CRS), to be taken on the weekend of March 9-10. The funds always go towards helping the CRS – the USCCB’s flagship international relief and development organization, the US branch of the international Caritas – but this year the donations will also help five additional initiatives close to the bishops’ hearts. 

First on the list is the US Bishops’ Office of International Justice and Peace. This office shares and promotes the social teachings of the Church. It concerns itself with global solidarity, human rights, human development, religious freedom, and more. By advancing the social mission of the church, it allows the bishops to work to advance justice, defend human dignity, and protect poor and vulnerable communities around the world.

Next is the Holy Father’s Relief Fund, a reserve of funds that allows Pope Francis to send aid to victims of disasters around the world. This fund has routinely gone to helping those who have lost everything to natural disasters. 

The USCCB’s Department of Migration and Refugee Services is also among the organizations supported by the special collection. This group promotes awareness of the plight of immigrants, migrants, refugees, trafficking victims, and people on the move. It is also concerned with the blight of human trafficking, one of several reasons for forced migration, and one that CRS is dedicated to combating. 

The funds will also go towards the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), a legal team that provides aid and know-how to immigrants and refugees seeking a legal path to work permits and citizenship. This group is a natural development that answers the continuing needs that are highlighted through the Department of Migration and Refugee Services. 

Finally, the USCCB’s Secretariat on Cultural Diversity in the Church is also bolstered by the CRS collection. This group works to bring Catholics from various culturally diverse communities into fuller participation in the faith, life, and evangelizing mission of the Church.

Bishop James S. Wall of Gallup, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on National Collections, commented on the many worthy charitable organizations that are bolstered by Catholic support: 

“The initiatives that benefit from The Catholic Relief Services Collection bring hope and change lives of the most impoverished and vulnerable among us. It is my hope that you consider the Lord’s graces and blessings at work in your lives and consider how you might make a difference in the lives of those who are struggling.”

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