By Linda Bordoni
American Catholic bishops have put their hands to their pockets to support the pastoral work of the Church in Latin America and the Caribbean and to help reconstruct areas devastated by natural disasters.
All in all, $3.2 million will be distributed among more than 170 grants dedicated to pastoral work such as the support of lay formation and leadership in Cuba and Ecuador, to catechesis projects and evangelization in Uruguay and El Salvador, ministry to indigenous peoples in Brazil and Venezuela.
Some $800,000 will be poured into recovery and reconstruction projects following earthquakes in Haiti and Mexico and the devastation caused by the passages of Hurricanes Matthew, Maria and Irma.
Panama’ World Youth Day in January was also on the agenda with grants approved to support youth ministry and travel for delegates from various Latin American countries like Haiti, Peru and Cuba.
Thanking American Catholics for their generosity, the Chairman for the Committee on National Collections said “The Collection for the Church in America has an immeasurable impact on people throughout the region, particularly among the most vulnerable.”
The pastoral grants are funded by the annual Collection for the Church in Latin America that takes place in many dioceses across the United States on the fourth Sunday in January, while emergency and reconstruction grants come out of various special collections called by the Bishops’ Conference.