February 21, 2014
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
On March 29-30 our Belleville Diocese will take up the Catholic Relief Services Collection. The Catholic Relief Services Collection funds six Catholic agencies that work to serve our suffering brothers and sisters around the world. Through humanitarian aid, resettling displaced individuals and families and advocating on behalf of victims, the Catholic Relief Services Collection allows us to see every encounter with a suffering person as an opportunity to help Jesus in disguise.
During drought seasons, the only water available in Ethiopia and other areas of East Africa runs deep underground—often as deep as 1,000 feet. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) worked with other aid partners to bring in rigs that can drill down to these depths. Taking into account the nomadic nature of many people in this region, they made wells along community migratory paths so they can continue to graze their herds and move them according to their needs. These water sources make a tremendous difference in the community. Livestock stay healthier and produce more milk, which means that the people have more food and rely less on outside resources. More work remains to be done, however. Many of the wells serve double the population they were made for and program managers fear that the communities will be unable to continue their pastoral work if more wells are not added.
Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) is a dedicated network of legal immigration programs that promotes the dignity and protects the rights of immigrants. Religious Immigration Services (RIS), a department of CLINIC, assists Catholic religious workers with visas. In 2013 they helped a
priest from Kenya enter the United States on a religious worker visa so that he could serve as a chaplain for the Little Sisters of the Poor and St. Anne’s Home in San Francisco. The home gives elderly people of limited financial means a place to live with dignity. Since its foundation in 1901, the home has
welcomed more than 20,000 elderly men and women of all faiths, nationalities and backgrounds. Thanks to the CRS Collection, they now have a chaplain.
CLINIC and CRS are two of six worldwide Catholic relief agencies funded by the Catholic Relief Services Collection. These agencies work to provide food, water, disaster relief and other vital assistance to Jesus in the disguise of suffering people each day. Please be generous in the Catholic Relief Services Collection. Your support truly makes a difference.
Sincerely and appreciatively yours in Christ,
The Most Reverend Edward K. Braxton, Ph.D., S.T.D.
Bishop of Belleville
This collection is to be taken up on March 29-30, 2014
Envelopes for this collection should be in your parishioners’ regular envelope packets. Please send the proceeds of this collection to the Chancery no later than Friday, May 9, 2014. Please make the check payable to “Catholic Diocese of Belleville” and indicate “Catholic Relief Services” in the lower left-hand corner of the check. Your cooperation in forwarding the check by the requested date is appreciated.
Thank you for your assistance.
Click this link for a PDF of Bishop Braxton's Letter