WASHINGTON, D.C. — For more than 50 years, the U.S. bishops’ annual Collection for the Church in Latin America has been a sign of solidarity between Catholics in the United States, in Latin America and the Caribbean.

This collection — which funds pastoral programs, seminarian and religious formation, and youth and family ministries — is going to be taken at Masses the weekend of Jan. 25-26 in many U.S. dioceses. However, dioceses can choose a different date to take up the collection to avoid conflict with local activities.

“The love of Christ compels us to share our faith and support all people who long to grow closer to Jesus,” said Auxiliary Bishop Octavio Cisneros of Brooklyn, New York, who is chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America.

“The Collection for the Church in Latin America expresses our solidarity with and love for the people of Latin America,” the bishop said in a Jan. 21 statement.

On behalf of the subcommittee, Cisneros expressed his “abiding gratitude to the people of the United States who generously support the collection each year and, through it, our brothers and sisters throughout the region.”

Examples of programs that benefit from the USCCB collection include the nonprofit Caritas Argentina, “which empowers more than 150 young Catholics to live out their faith in the service of those who are poor and excluded from society by training them in pastoral ministry to evangelize their local communities and share their faith throughout Argentina,” according to a USCCB news release.

It said the collection also enabled 235 youth from Haiti to attend World Youth Day 2019 in Panama and hear Pope Francis’s “words of hope and mercy.”

In November 2019, the Subcommittee for the Church in Latin America awarded nearly $4.2 million in grants to support the Catholic Church in Latin America and Caribbean, including areas ravaged by natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes.

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