This year’s collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) will be taken up in parishes the weekend of Nov. 17-18, coinciding with the Second World Day of the Poor.
Nearly 40 million people live in poverty in the United States. This collection supports the work of groups that allow low-income people to participate in decisions that affect their lives.
Projects supported by CCHD include expanding access to affordable housing, developing worker-owned businesses and protecting worker rights, and reforming the immigration system.
In his statement for this year’s celebration of the World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis called on the faithful to “make tangible the Church’s response to the cry of the poor, to experience this World Day as a privileged moment of new evangelization.”
“The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is one of the many ways that the Church hears the cry of the poor and recognizes their needs,” stated Bishop David P. Talley of Alexandria, chairman of the CCHD Subcommittee of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.
“This collection empowers low-income people to work to break the cycle of poverty in their communities, helping them to live life anew in dignity,” he said.
Twenty-five percent of funds collected remain in each diocese to support local anti-poverty projects.
Two hundred and fifty organizations in the Jefferson City diocese have benefitted from CCHD local grants over the past 40 years.
Helping out locally
Last year, the Diocese of Jefferson City provided $24,000 in CCHD local grants to five local non-profit organizations — El Puente Hispanic Ministry in Jefferson City; Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty; the Rural Community Workers’ Alliance in Milan; the Community Kitchen in Moberly; and Hickory County C.A.R.E.S. (Community Action Resources Education Services) — for efforts to alleviate poverty.
This will help the organization move toward its primary long-range goal of “assuring that members of the Hispanic community have access to needed health and social services.”
The money will help with travel-related expenses for two death-row exonerees who share their personal stories; costs related to promotion and screenings of a film about the experience of a juror in a capital murder case; and other public awareness efforts.
The money will help pay for several training workshops in Milan and Kirksville, focusing on leadership development for immigrant and refugee workers. Topics will include labor rights and immigration laws.
Members of RCWA’s board of directors will also receive organizational development training, including public outreach and fundraising.
The organization provides hot meals to people who are hungry and lonely, as well as a safe, friendly and healthy environment for anyone who is in need. It also provides its facilities to other poverty-relief and social service entities.
The money will help provide two half-gallon cartons of milk per month to each household the organization serves.
Bishop W. Shawn McKnight approved these allocations as suggested by a diocesan CCHD advisory committee.
The committee determined that all of these grant recipients are worthy organizations that are working with the poor and disadvantaged.
All have affirmed that they have no organizational conflict with any Church moral or social teaching relating to the sanctity of life.
Culture of life and hope
CCHD is the official domestic anti-poverty program of the U.S. Catholic bishops.
This national collection is the primary source of funding for CCHD’s community and economic development grants and education programs aimed at fostering a culture of life and hope in communities across the nation.
“Your support goes a long way in creating communities that are more just and welcoming to those who live trapped in the cycle of poverty,” said Bishop McKnight. “Please prayerfully consider how you are able to help CCHD this year.”
The diocesan CCHD advisory committee members include: Father Francis Doyle, pastor of Sacred Heart parish in Columbia; Deacon Earl Horsefield, member of Holy Cross parish in Cuba; Bill Seifert, deacon candidate and member of Immaculate Conception parish in Jefferson City; Susan McAdams, member of Immaculate Conception parish in Jefferson City; and Leslie Alvarenga, member of St. Peter parish in Marshall.
Additional resources to learn about poverty in the United States can be found at www.povertyusa.org. Materials include a “Poverty USA Tour” video, a Poverty Map, and Stories of Hope from groups supported through the annual collection.
To access a Pastoral Aid for the first World Day of the Poor, visit www.usccb.org/cchd.