WASHINGTON – Projects aimed at rebuilding church infrastructure damaged by the recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile will receive nearly $1 million from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The allocations are part of close to $2.8 million that the bishops’ Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America approved for 128 projects in 23 countries.
“The projects approved by the subcommittee show the church in action, supporting thousands of priests, sisters and laity working every day to bring the good news to some of our poorest brothers and sisters,” said Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, coadjutor archbishop of Los Angeles and subcommittee chairman.
In Haiti, the grants will provide temporary parish centers in 27 parishes, temporary classrooms and supplies to the national seminary and radio transmission equipment for Radio Soleil, a Catholic radio station in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital.
Funds for the projects came from the special collection taken in most U.S. parishes for earthquake relief efforts.
The subcommittee also approved funding for the Chilean church to build 20 temporary chapels for parishes. In the 11 dioceses that sustained the most damage from the Feb. 27 earthquake, 80 percent of the chapels were destroyed or left unusable.
In addition, the bishops awarded more than $400,000 for the education of women religious and clergy in 14 countries. Grants supporting indigenous faith communities in Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua and Venezuela were also among the projects approved for funding by the bishops.