From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

World Mission Collection supports ministry from Guatemala to Near East

the Inland Register

(From the Oct. 3, 2002 edition of the Inland Register)

The Catholic Church has ministered to the poor and needy since its beginning, bringing hope to people everywhere.

Ask a mother in southern Africa who has received food from Catholic Relief Services to feed her starving children. Ask Catholics in the Middle East whose parish has received a donation from the Catholic Near East Welfare Association to help it stay open.

Ask the Franciscans who receive funds from to preserve the Christian sites in the Holy Land. Ask the Holy Father who receives donations from thousands of Catholics for his special fund that is used wherever and wherever there is an emergency. Ask Father David Baronti who ministers to the poorest of the poor in Guatemala.

St. Paul wrote in several of his letters about being generous to the poor (see Galatians 2:10). Catholics who donate to the World Missions Collection are following a long tradition of helping others and if St. Paul were writing to them today, he would encourage them to be as generous as they can.

This year, the diocese’s annual World Mission Collection will be taken up the weekend of Oct. 19-20. Funds raised through this collection support a wide range of activities – wide-ranging both geographically and miniterially – around the globe.

On this page are brief explanations of the seven areas where donations to the World Mission collection will be used. Please study them carefully and prayerfully to see the many ways the Church brings help and hope all over the world.

Catholic Relief Services

From Europe to Africa, from South America to India, in more than 80 countries, this overseas relief and development agency fights poverty, hunger and suffering. For over 50 years, CRS has brought help and hope to people in great need of both. The agency works not only to alleviate immediate crises, such as the food shortages in southern Africa, Bolivia and Peru, but also develops long-term improvement programs such as providing electricity and digging wells.

Because of severe drought, more than 13 million people are in danger of starvation in southern Africa. More than a ton of food is needed immediately. CRS has distributed life-saving food and will work with farmers to develop drought-adapted farming techniques.

In Bolivia and Peru a devastating cold front in July brought snow, ice, hail and below freezing temperatures to wipe out crops and livestock.

These are just two instances of the work CRS does to uphold the dignity of the human person and recognize that everyone is one family united in God’s love.

Guatemala mission

For decades, the Spokane Diocese has given help and hope to the Diocese of Solalá in Guatemala. For 25 of those years, Father David Baronti, a priest of the Spokane Diocese, has ministered among the Mayan Indians in the high and rugged mountains of Guatemala. Because of their remote location, malnutrition and disease are common problems.

The financial assistance given by the Spokane Diocese has provided schools and health and training programs to help the Mayans learn new ways to provide a living for their families. The health programs and a seminary there are in particular need of help at this time.

The Society for the Propagation of the Faith

The Society was founded in 1822. For 180 years, it has supported the missionary work of the Catholic Church. It does that by supporting the education of seminarians, religious novices and lay catechists. Its evangelizing programs can be found in Africa, Asia, the islands of the Pacific, and remote regions of Latin America which receive support through the Society.

The need of the Catholic Church in the Missions continues to grow as new dioceses are formed and new seminaries opened. In 1998 there were 1,716 ordinations to the priesthood in the Missions. Other areas where the Church had long been suppressed are opening up to hear the Gospel message of Jesus Christ and his Church. The Society provides money to meet these needs.

The Society has also funded the work of religious communities in education, health, care and social services.

Aid for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe

The Catholic Church has returned to life in many former communist countries where governments tried to eradicate all forms of Christianity. The Church is open again, but much help is needed that it might continue to meet the new challenges that have arisen.

The Collection for the Catholic Church in Central and Eastern Europe has funded more than 2,200 projects for the renewed Church in 27 countries. Projects have included training of seminarians and lay catechists, building church, establishing religious education program, expanding social ministries and spreading the Gospel through mass media.

The Works of the Holy Father and the Apostolic See

Pope John Paul II uses the money raised through this collection as emergency assistance to aid the neediest of our brothers and sisters throughout the world as a result of war, oppression and natural disasters. He asks us, “to have a listening heart, extend a helping hand and make a better world.

Catholic Near East Welfare Association

This association supports the pastoral mission and institutions of the Catholic churches in the Middle East. It helps to care for the spiritual lives of Catholics in mostly Muslim countries such as Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria. The CNEWA helps to support Catholic schools, to educate and train seminarians, and to care for the physical needs of families. The association often makes money available for the construction of buildings and facilities for churches to care for their congregations.

Collection for the Holy Land

The Franciscans have been caring for the holy sites of the Middle East since the early 1300s. Their principal activity is to ensure worship in the holy places such as Bethlehem, Nazareth and the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. Their mission has gotten much more difficult with the recent violence in the Middle East and they need our continued support. Also, the Franciscans have expanded their social assistance activities in response to the troubles there.

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