Washington D.C., Oct 29, 2019 / 09:30 am (CNA).- The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) announced on Monday that it has allocated $9.9 million in grants for evangelization in the United States in the year 2020.
The grants will go to 77 dioceses and eparchies, chosen in September by the USCCB’s Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions. The subcommittee met in El Paso, one of the recipient dioceses. All the dioceses picked to receive grants “face significant challenges to their evangelization efforts due to geography, low populations, and poverty,” an Oct. 29 statement from the conference explained.
Money for these grants was raised through the Catholic Home Missions Appeal, a national collection taken up each year in April. A “home mission” refers to a diocese or parish in the United States or its territories that is unable to provide basic pastoral services, such as access to the sacraments, religious education, or ministry training, without outside assistance.
Selected grant recipients include the Diocese of Kalamazoo, which will use the money to support its migrant ministry outreach program. That program, now in its 20th year, reaches more than 15,000 migrant farmworkers in the diocese, and provides Mass, sacramental preparation, catechesis instruction and other services.
Other dioceses will use the grant money to fund faith formation programs for youth and young adult Catholics, or to reach people in extremely remote parts of the diocese. The Diocese of Juneau, Alaska, which includes many isolated communities, will use the funds for this purpose.
Bishop Shawn McKnight of Jefferson City, who leads the committee on Catholic Home Missions, said in a statement that the grants are vitally important to the mission to spread the Gospel in the United States.
“These dioceses otherwise might not be able to engage as robustly in the evangelization and outreach programs that foster the community and fraternity needed to enrich the faithful who long to grow closer to Christ,” said McKnight.
“The Diocese of El Paso, along with many other dioceses throughout the United States struggle to meet the basic pastoral needs of the faithful,” said McKnight. “Thanks to the generosity of Catholics throughout the United States, dioceses in need can apply for grants that will help them with evangelization and pastoral ministry efforts.”