Collection focuses on aiding struggling families amidst economic downturn

WASHINGTON—”Families are struggling. Faith is calling” is the theme of the 2009 Collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development held in most Catholic parishes the weekend of Nov. 21-22. The Catholic Diocese of Wichita contributes to this collection through United Catholic Stewardship.
The economic crisis has left many in the United States without security: the security of having a job, of having health care or a sufficient retirement fund. U.S. Census poverty figures reveal that the number of people currently in poverty in the United States is estimated at 39.8 million, almost 3 million more people than the previous year’s readings. For most of these families, however, these kinds of security have always been out of reach, and the current crisis has amplified their struggle.
“The mission of CCHD is crucial in 2009: To uplift and embolden all who are one layoff or one medical scare away from the poverty line – and all who are already there,” said Bishop Roger Morin of Biloxi, Mississippi, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Subcommittee on CCHD.
For nearly 40 years, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development has embodied Catholic social teaching through the pursuit of justice and the upholding of the dignity of the human person. Since 1970, CCHD has funded community groups that create affordable housing, obtain fair wages and provide job training, as well as other organizing projects led by low income individuals to help people and resolve problems in their communities.
CCHD’s primary source of support is the once-a-year CCHD Collection held in U.S. parishes. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds support projects in the diocese where the funds are collected.
“This year, our call as Catholics to bring glad tidings to the poor…to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free (Lk 4:18) is more important than ever before,” said Bishop Morin in a letter inviting parishes to be as generous as possible.
CCHD funds programs where poor and marginalized people are empowered to make decisions, seek solutions to local problems and find ways to improve their lives and neighborhoods. Economic development initiatives help poor and low-income people develop new businesses, create new jobs and develop assets that are owned by families and communities. CCHD also provides educational opportunities for Catholics to learn about poverty, interact with those affected by it and reflect on a faith response to it.
In 2008, CCHD-funded groups involved 776 Catholic parishes, 18 Catholic Charities agencies and 51 religious communities. CCHD is a complement to the direct-assistance mission of Catholic Charities agencies and other Church emergency relief programs. It helps make long-term changes in the economic condition of communities by supporting projects that address the root causes of poverty.
In 2009, a total of $7,735,613 was awarded to 250 grantees throughout the United States. For a detailed list of the most recent grants, visit www.usccb.org/cchd/grants.

Your stewardship helps the poor in the U.S.
The contribution to this collection from the Catholic Diocese of Wichita is made possible through the United Catholic Stewardship process.
Perhaps you wish to send a special gift that will be added to what is contributed from the diocese. If so, you can send the check for your special gift in care of Bryan Coulter at the Chancery Office, 424 N. Broadway, Wichita, KS 67202. Please make the check payable to the Catholic Diocese of Wichita and indicate the specific collection in the memo area of your check. Thank you for sharing with our less fortunate brothers and sisters.