On Ash Wednesday (Feb. 10), our diocese will take up the Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe (CCEE). Many living in Central and Eastern Europe are still suffering the effects of living under communism. Grants funded by this collection are a source of hope to restore the Church and build the future in these areas.
The collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe supports those still struggling to cope with the aftermath of living under Soviet rule. Those in Eastern European countries and parts of Russia often experience poverty, infrequent pastoral care, and lack of buildings in which to worship. The Church in these areas still faces major challenges as it not only rebuilds church structures but continues to support the spiritual needs of its people. This collection allows us in the United States to restore the Church and build the future by supporting our brothers and sisters who experience these struggles on a daily basis.
For example, the people of Armenia face many challenges, and recovery from a devastating earthquake in the late 1980s and the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s has been difficult and slow. Many children in Armenia live on the street because of poor family situations or the need to earn their own money. The Sisters of the Immaculate Conception have used a grant from CCEE to fund a summer camp for 850 children ages 8 to 15.
The camp is provided for children who are orphans, live in extreme poverty, or live in poor isolated villages. At camp, the children receive much-needed rest along with physical and spiritual support, all in a nurturing environment. Local and international volunteers help create an atmosphere of safety and trust while guiding and mentoring the children. Some of the camp activities include attending catechetical classes, going hiking and on field trips, and participating in sports and acting in theatrical presentations. While at camp, the children can experience the encouraging love and support of God and others.
In order for projects like this one to continue, the collection needs your help.
Please be generous in the collection. Your donation will continue to restore the Church and build the future of Central and Eastern Europe. Thank you, and God bless you.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Bishop Joseph E. Strickland
For more information on the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, please visit www.usccb.org/ccee.