WASHINGTON, March 1 The leadership of Catholic Advocate today called upon the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to launch a National Collection for Life to be held in January the weekend before the annual March for Life.
"Creating a National Collection for Life will allow American Catholics to tangibly demonstrate the importance of building a culture of life in our society," said Catholic Advocate Vice President Matt Smith. "A consistent source of funds to national pro-life activities will open opportunities to promote the sanctity of life at all stages."
Catholic Advocate recommends proceeds from the collection be used to support the programs of the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities. While awaiting the weekend of January 22/23, 2011 to arrive, Catholic Advocate has begun exploring ways to raise money for the collection in the coming months and will then present those funds to the USCCB.
"There are many positive pro-life activities occurring at the local level," added Catholic Advocate President Deal Hudson. "Catholic Advocate believes a National Collection for Life would enhance the programs and goals of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities at a time when they are needed more than ever."
Catholic Advocate made the request in writing to Cardinal Daniel DiNardo (Galveston-Houston), Chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities and Bishop Kevin Farrell (Dallas), Chairman of the Committee on National Collections. A copy of the letter follows.
The National Collections program includes the following with the weekends they occur in parenthesis: Church in Latin America (held 4th weekend in January); Church in Central and Eastern Europe (Ash Wednesday); Black and Indian Missions (1st Sunday in Lent); The Catholic Relief Services (4th Sunday in Lent); Holy Land (Good Friday); Catholic Home Missions Appeal (4th Sunday in April); Catholic Communication Campaign (3rd Sunday in May); Peter's Pence (Sunday closest to Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul);Catholic University of America (2nd Sunday in September); World Mission Sunday (Next to last Sunday in October); Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) (Sunday before Thanksgiving); Retirement Fund for Religious (2nd Sunday in December).
Catholic Advocate is a non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization, including 95,000 members, addressing current ongoing debates about Catholic political participation, and calls upon Catholic voters to support candidates and policies faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. Columns by Hudson and Smith on various topics are available at http://www.catholicadvocate.com/ and http://twitter.com/CathAdv.
March 1, 2010
Your Eminence and Your Excellency,
We know you agree one of the most important areas of focus for our Catholic Church in America is working to advance a culture of life. We write to encourage the initiation of a National Collection for Life to be held in January the Sunday before the annual March for Life. According to the Office of National Collections, "The bishops of the United States created the national collections so that, by combining resources, we can more effectively carry out our mission as Catholics. Each of these important collections is worthy of your support. Each collection represents our community of faith at work in the world, saving souls and improving lives."
National Collections supporting the poor and mission programs are important and effective when the funds are distributed appropriately to entities in agreement with the teachings of the Church. However, first among equals must be advancing the culture of life for without that gift there are no other issues to address.
While there are many positive, local pro-life programs funded through annual Bishops' Lenten Appeals, we believe a National Collection for Life would enhance the national programs and goals of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities at a time when they are needed more than ever. As Pope John Paul II wrote in The Gospel for Life, "for human life is sacred and inviolable at every stage and in every situation." What better way to tangibly show the priority the Church places on advocating for life than with a collection to match the importance of the issue in our society?
We welcome the opportunity to discuss our idea further and sincerely anticipate your response.
With appreciation for your service,
CC: Patrick Markey, Executive Director of National Collections, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Tom Grenchik, Executive Director, Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
His Eminence Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo Most Reverend Kevin J. Farrell Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Diocese of Dallas Chairman, Committee on Pro-Life Chairman, Committee on National Activities Collections P.O. Box 907 P.O. Box 190507 Houston, TX 77001-0907 Dallas, TX 75219
SOURCE Catholic Advocate