WASHINGTON – For people worldwide who suffer from hunger, war, natural disasters, racial injustice, religious persecution, and the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, gifts to The Catholic Relief Services Collection bring hope, help, and opportunity.
The Catholic Relief Services Collection aids six groups that protect human life and promote human dignity: Catholic Relief Services (CRS) for international relief and development; the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Office of Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) for refugee resettlement; USCCB Office of International Justice and Peace for advocacy on government policy; the USCCB Secretariat on Cultural Diversity in the Church for Pastoral Care for Migrants, Refugees, and Travelers and ministry to Asian and Pacific Islanders; Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) for legal assistance to immigrants; and the Holy Father’s Relief Fund to assist Pope Francis’ outreach to suffering people worldwide.
Through this national collection, which most parishes will take up on March 13-14, Catholics help the most vulnerable people in the United States and around the globe. Gifts may be made through the local Catholic parish and also by visiting www.usccb.org/catholic-relief.
“The Catholic Relief Services Collection pools small gifts to make a multi-million-dollar impact. Even a $10 donation can transform the life of someone who was already in dire need when the pandemic started,” said Archbishop Paul D. Etienne of Seattle and chairman of the USCCB Committee on National Collections.
“The need is urgent. Due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the ability of parishioners to gather together for Mass, gifts to this collection fell drastically in 2020 – just when they were needed most.”
All material aid is given to those in need, regardless of the recipient’s faith, and Catholic pastoral care is offered to those who desire it.
Gifts to this collection make a lasting impact. For instance, when CRS assists families after a natural disaster, it does so in ways that promote future prosperity. Whenever possible, relief supplies are purchased locally so that local economies are not ruined by an influx of outside rice or lumber. CRS teaches business skills and connects small farmers and merchants to larger markets for trade. It provides counseling to strengthen marriages stressed by trauma.
At the U.S.-Mexican border, USCCB Migrant and Refugee Services is providing safe, supportive shelter for unaccompanied minors through funding from this important collection. MRS works to reunite these children with relatives in the United States and advocates for reform of immigration and refugee policies.
“This collection gives the poor and vulnerable immediate assistance and equips them with tools to thrive,” Archbishop Etienne said. “We are so grateful to those who gave last year in a time of hardship. I ask you now to pray over what you can give and how you can be the face of Jesus to so many who suffer.”
More information about the collection and who it supports is at www.usccb.org/catholic-relief.