Fundraising Campaign for the American Church’s Anti-Poverty Campaign
The annual special collection will take place during weekend Masses from November 12 to 13 in most parishes
Residents receive food at the St. Helena Pantry in the Bronx in New York on September 28. The weekly food pantry serves hundreds of food insecure individuals and families. (Photo: AFP)
The work supported by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the national anti-poverty campaign of the U.S. bishops, “empowers communities to build resilience and stand in solidarity with their most marginalized members,” the minister said. Auxiliary Bishop David G. O’Connell of Los Angeles.
“Whether it’s helping a family access affordable housing or facilitating dialogue between members of a local community and law enforcement, CCHD is an essential part of the social mission of the church in the United States,” he said.
Bishop O’Connell made the remarks in a Nov. 1 statement as chair of the CCHD subcommittee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The annual special collection for CCHD will take place during weekend Masses November 12-13 in most US parishes.
It coincides with the World Day of the Poor on November 13. This special day is marked annually on the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. The theme of this year’s celebration is: “Christ became poor because of you”.
Established by U.S. bishops more than 50 years ago, CCHD’s mission continues “to empower those most affected by economic and social injustice in the United States to advocate for better communities,” a statement said. USCCB press release announcing collection dates.
“CCHD responds to the call to accompany our brothers and sisters in situations of poverty,” the statement said, quoting Pope Francis’ message for the sixth World Day of the Poor: “As far as the poor are concerned, it is not the word that matters; what matters is to roll up our sleeves and put our faith into practice through direct involvement, which is not delegated.”
CCHD grants are awarded to community groups that typically train residents of neglected neighborhoods to become leaders who help others identify their community’s most pressing issues and find solutions.
For example, seven dioceses in Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas engaged in an initiative, “Recognizing the Stranger,” where 700 immigrant parishioners were mentored to become social and pastoral leaders.
These new leaders in turn facilitated conversations between community members and local law enforcement.
According to the USCCB, this dialogue resulted in three police departments agreeing to honor parish ID cards for those who did not have government identification. The cards eased community tensions and led to an increase in parish registrations by Catholics “who had previously remained in the shadows”, he said.
Grounded Solutions Network, another recent recipient of a CCHD grant, has supported community land trusts from Baltimore to Nevada and California to help people become homeowners in stable and safe communities.
“Whether it’s helping a family access affordable housing or facilitating dialogue between members of a local community and law enforcement, CCHD is an essential part of the social mission of the church in the United States,” Bishop O’Connell said.
In 2021, CCHD distributed over $12.7 million to more than 200 groups across the United States that address the root causes of poverty and empower the most vulnerable.
In addition to supporting local anti-poverty efforts across the country, 25% of the national collection stays in the local diocese to address the root causes of poverty at the local level.
“I wish to express my gratitude to those who have donated to this national collection and invite you to continue to support this important work by giving generously this year,” the Bishop added.