Africa is the poorest and most marginalized area of the world from an economic and political standpoint. Endemic poverty, ecological damage, poor governance and persistent conflicts result in the displacement of millions on the continent. Africa also is a continent of enormous spiritual vitality, where the people of God — ordained and laity alike — share the Gospel with a joy that should inspire all of us to do likewise.
Your gifts to the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa provide basic resources that the Catholic Church in Africa needs to deepen the faith of its people, evangelize its neighbors, strengthen its leadership, and promote peace and justice.
The grants awarded by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on behalf of the Catholic Church in this country support projects that build the capacity of the Church in Africa to meet the urgent pastoral needs of its people, including outreach to youth and families, support for Catholic schools, education of clergy and lay ministers, training of catechists, and peace-building efforts in areas of conflict. Your donation provides essential training for lay leaders and allows for the possibility of connecting far-flung parishes through digital communications.
In 2020, contributions to the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa fell drastically due to the COVID-19 pandemic while, at the same time, the need in Africa was more acute than ever. However, small gifts go a long way in Africa, and among the many ministries you supported in 2020 were:
- In Cameroon, you helped to heal the emotional wounds of war through small groups that reflect on Scripture while applying best practices for recovery from trauma.
- In Egypt, your gifts aided in the creation of a communications office equipped with modern technology to connect and educate Catholics nationwide.
- In Southern Africa, your gifts are helping to end interreligious conflict. The Solidarity Fund supported a symposium to assist people from all the major regional religious traditions better understand each other and build bridges of friendship.
- In Zambia, a land with so few priests that villagers often go months without access to the sacraments, your gifts funded two national Bible conferences. Lay leaders received intensive instruction in understanding and properly interpreting the Word of God.
You can learn more about the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa at https://www.usccb.org/africa.
Each of us should take time to prayerfully reflect on how we can grow closer to Christ and serve him by giving to others. Please consider giving to the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa. A collection for this special fund is taken annually and participating dioceses set a date for their parishes to take up the collection — many do so during the month of August.
As chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on the Church in Africa, I can assure you that every dollar you put in the basket or give through your parish’s e-offertory platform goes a long way to make a real difference in the faith lives of individuals, families and communities across Africa.
Remember that your gifts to the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa support the Church’s mission to bring hope, foster understanding and healing among diverse peoples and help to spread the good news of God’s love and mercy through Jesus Christ. Your generosity will make a tangible, lasting impact in the lives of our Catholic brothers and sisters.