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U.S. Bishops Approve $4 Million in Aid for Ministries in Central and Eastern Europe

WASHINGTON— The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe approved $4 million in funding for 143 projects at the Subcommittee's meeting on November 11, 2018, in Baltimore.

Central and Eastern Europe projects receiving funding include:

● Charitable support for single mothers in areas of Armenia experiencing high emigration rates of men. Through Armenian Caritas, mothers and children in need will receive food, hygienic items, school supplies, fuel, medicine, and other necessities.
● The construction of a rehabilitation center in Georgia to provide services to children, people with disabilities, and others living in poverty. The center, which will be managed by the Georgian branches of the Camillians and the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Christiana, will offer rehabilitation, mental health, and speech therapy services to the people of South Georgia and northern Armenia.
● Financial support to help young people from Latvia participate in World Youth Day in Panama City, Panama, in January 2019.
● Translation of Papal encyclicals and other important Catholic social teaching documents into modern Ukrainian, many for the first time. The translated documents will be published in both printed and electronic format and presented through a series of workshops in different areas of Ukraine.
● Support for the development of the most rapidly growing seminary in Eastern Europe in Kyiv, Ukraine, where the number of seminarians has increased from 39 to 79 in the last five years.

“Our support for the Catholics of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union helps rebuild and restore the faith where people continue to feel the repercussions of decades of communism and oppression,” said Archbishop Paul D. Etienne of Anchorage, Chairman of the Committee on National Collections.

The USCCB Subcommittee on the Church in Central and Eastern Europe funds projects in 28 countries to build the pastoral capacity of the Church in these places. The funds collected in the Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe are used to support seminaries, youth ministry, social service programs, pastoral centers, church construction and renovation, and Catholic communications projects.

Grants are funded by the annual Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. The national date for this collection is Ash Wednesday, although dioceses may take it up on different dates. The Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe oversees the collection and an annual grant program as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. More information about the collection and who it supports can be found at www.usccb.org/ccee.
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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop Paul D. Etienne, Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, Armenia, Armenian Caritas, Camillians, Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Christiana, Ukraine, World Youth Day, Papal encyclicals.
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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

U.S. Bishops Approve $9.5 Million in Grants to U.S. Mission Dioceses and Eparchies, Including Funding for Youth Ministry, Seminarian Formation and Outreach to Migrants

WASHINGTON— The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions approved $9.5 million in grants to assist 79 dioceses and eparchies at the subcommittee's meeting October 9-10, in Spokane, Washington.

“Many dioceses and eparchies throughout the United States cannot provide basic pastoral services without outside assistance. Through the generosity of Catholics to the Catholic Home Missions Appeal, we can help strengthen the Church here at home,” said Archbishop Paul D. Etienne of Anchorage, Chairman for the Committee on National Collections.

Subcommittee grants assist dioceses and eparchies that would otherwise struggle due to difficult geography, impoverished populations, and limited resources. Catholic Home Missions funding supports various pastoral programs, including religious education and youth ministry, priestly and religious formation, prison ministries, and lay ministry training.

Projects approved for funding include the following:

● Migrant Ministry in the Diocese of Stockton, California, to provide pastoral care and evangelization to thousands of farmworkers and their families.
● Seminarian Education and Formation in the Diocese of Amarillo, Texas, to develop vocations, provide personal assistance with discernment, and support current seminarians as they prepare for ordained ministry.
● Mission and Ministry Fund in the Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky, to help rural and mountain parishes develop their missionary presence and action in Appalachian Kentucky.
● Young Adult Ministry/Community College Outreach in the Diocese of Dodge City, Kansas, to extend outreach ministries to young people between the ages of 18-39 through events, mission trips, and other programs for prayer and fellowship.
● Manua Mission in the Diocese of Samoa-Pago Pago, American Samoa, to provide missionary services and pastoral support to children and families who are isolated from the main island of Tutuila and live in the outlying islands of Manua.

The Subcommittee’s grants are funded by donations to an annual collection, the Catholic Home Missions Appeal. The Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions oversees the Catholic Home Missions Appeal as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. The national date for the annual appeal is the fourth Sunday in April.
More information on Catholic Home Missions can be found online at www.usccb.org/home-missions.

 

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop Paul D. Etienne of Anchorage, Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions, Spokane, Catholic Home Missions Appeal, Migrant Ministry, Diocese of Stockton, Seminarian Education and Formation, Diocese of Amarillo, Mission and Ministry Fund, Diocese of Lexington, Young Adult Ministry/Community College Outreach, Diocese of Dodge City, Manua Mission, Diocese of Samoa-Pago Pago, American Samoa.  

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

U.S. Bishops’ Chairman Applauds Enactment of Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act

WASHINGTON—Today, after more than two years of hard work and bipartisan cooperation in the US Congress, the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) applauds the enactment of the Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act (H.R. 390).

This critical legislation will direct humanitarian relief to genocide victims in Iraq and Syria and hold ISIS perpetrators accountable.

“Today is a signal of hope for the critically vulnerable of this region. We thank Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ), the bill’s author, and Anna Eshoo (D-CA), its lead cosponsor, and President Donald Trump for signing it into law,” says Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services USA and Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace.

“Less than 200,000 Christians remain in Iraq, down from 1.4 million in 2002 and 500,000 in 2013, before ISIS swept through the region on its genocidal campaign. Many of the remaining Christians in Iraq are displaced, mostly in Erbil in the Kurdistan region, and need desperate assistance to return to their homes and stay in Iraq. After the ISIS invasion, 60,000 Yazidis fled to Europe, and of the 550,000 Yazidis still in Iraq, 280,000 remain displaced and only 20 percent have been able to return to their historic homeland of Sinjar, according to the Yazdi organization Yazda.

The Catholic Church has consistently raised its voice in support of the most vulnerable who are facing persecution and displacement in the Middle East and around the world. Pope Francis has denounced the persecution, torture and killing of Christians in the Middle East, calling it a "form of genocide" that must end, and lamenting the wider conflicts that have put so many in danger. USCCB has joined with Pope Francis in condemning the actions of those who would persecute others solely for reasons of their faith and ethnicity.”

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act, Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., President Donald J. Trump, Chris Smith (R-NJ), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Committee on International Justice and Peace, genocide, Iraq, Syria, Christians, ISIS, Erbil, Yazidis, persecution, displacement, conflict, fait, ethnicity, humanitarian relief

Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

Presidentes de Comités de la USCCB reciben con agrado las modificaciones al "impuesto de estacionamiento" pero buscan la derogación completa por parte del Congreso

WASHINGTON— La guía promulgada ayer por el Departamento del Tesoro es un "esfuerzo para aliviar el 'impuesto de estacionamiento’”, pero “se necesita un alivio total por parte del Congreso", según expresaron el Arzobispo Joseph E. Kurtz de Louisville, Presidente del Comité de Libertad Religiosa de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos (USCCB) y el Obispo Frank J. Dewane, de Venice, Presidente del Comité de Justicia Doméstica y Desarrollo Humano de USCCB.  

La declaración conjunta del Arzobispo Kurtz y el Obispo Dewane es la siguiente:

"Apreciamos el esfuerzo de la Administración para aliviar el 'impuesto de estacionamiento' al permitir que los empleadores, incluidas muchas organizaciones sin fines de lucro, reduzcan retroactivamente sus gastos de estacionamiento no deducibles. Pero se necesita un alivio total del Congreso para revocar este impuesto injusto. Como nosotros, junto con muchos líderes ecuménicos e interreligiosos, expresamos en una carta conjunta enviada al Congreso el mes pasado: ‘A menos que sea revocada, esta disposición requerirá que decenas de miles de casas de adoración presenten las declaraciones de impuestos por primera vez en la historia de nuestra nación e impondrá una nueva carga impositiva a los lugares de culto y las organizaciones sin fines de lucro’”.

La carta conjunta del 13 de noviembre se puede encontrar aquí: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/upload/Letter-on-Parking-Lot-Tax-November-13-2018.pdf

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Palabras clave: Arzobispo Joseph Kurtz, Obispo Frank Dewane, Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos, USCCB, impuesto de estacionamiento, Departamento del Tesoro, libertad religiosa.

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Contactos de prensa:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3202

 

Bishop Chairmen Express Relief at Modifications to “Parking Lot Tax” But Seek Full Repeal

WASHINGTON–The guidance promulgated yesterday by the Treasury Department is an “effort to alleviate the ‘parking lot tax,’” but “full relief is needed from Congress,” according to Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

Archbishop Kurtz and Bishop Dewane offered the following joint statement in response:

“We appreciate the Administration’s effort to alleviate the ‘parking lot tax’ by allowing employers, including many non-profits, to retroactively reduce their nondeductible parking expenses. But full relief is needed from Congress to fix this unjust tax. As we, along with many ecumenical and interreligious leaders, noted in a coalition letter to Congress last month: ‘Unless repealed, this provision will require tens of thousands of houses of worship to file tax returns for the first time in our nation’s history and will impose a new tax burden on houses of worship and nonprofit organizations.’”

The November 13 coalition letter can be found here: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/upload/Letter-on-Parking-Lot-Tax-November-13-2018.pdf

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Keywords: Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Bishop Frank Dewane, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, parking lot tax, Treasury Department, religious liberty, religious freedom

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200