By ZENIT Staff

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe approved $1.6 million in funding for 100 projects in 22 countries in Central and Eastern Europe at its meeting on November 10 in Baltimore, Maryland.

“The Church in Central and Eastern Europe continues to work through the effects of decades of communism and repression. As the Church rebuilds and grows in the region, the faithful of the United States stand in solidarity and show our love to our brothers and sisters there through our prayers and generosity,” said Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton of Steubenville, chairman of the USCCB’s Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe.

Pastoral projects approved for funding include:
● In Bosnia and Herzegovina, support for the St. John Paul II Youth Centers, whose programs include leadership formation, annual meetings, workshops, and summer camps.
● In Lithuania, support for the Journey of Faith project by the Catechetical Center of the Diocese of Vilkaviskis, helping to develop adult formation programs that bring adults closer to Christ through the start-up of RCIA courses, programs to strengthen marriages, and retreats for parishioners and catechists.
● In Romania, support for 28 seminarians of the Archdiocese of Bucharest studying at the Inter-Diocesan Seminary in Iasi.
● Financial assistance for the operations of the Russian Federation Bishops’ Conference’s KANA television studio in Novosibirsk, links communities and faithful spread out over the eastern region of the country.
● Contribution towards the construction of Relentless Help of Our Lady parish church for the growing Catholic community near Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine.

Other projects approved by the Subcommittee include scholarships and formation for church leadership; evangelization programs in dioceses; and repairs for physical structures such as churches, monasteries, and pastoral center buildings.

Grants are funded by the annual Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. The date for this national 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 on the collection and its beneficiaries may be found by visiting www.usccb.org/ccee.

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