By Catholic Review Staff
The Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Catholic Campaign for Human Development is asking parishioners to donate at least one hour’s pay or wages during the annual collection Nov. 23-24.
Archbishop William E. Lori expressed his support for CCHD in a letter to the faithful.
An effort of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, CCHD assists groups working to address the root causes of poverty. Funds aid the poor in the archdiocese to help themselves.
Monsignor William F. Burke, archdiocesan director of CCHD and pastor of St. Francis of Assisi in Baltimore, noted that New Lens, a recipient of a local CCHD grant of $13,000 in August, is no longer eligible for CCHD funding and has been asked to return grant monies.
The group met CCHD requirements when it applied for the grant, but has since become ineligible after producing a video that conflicted with church teachings.
“We regret this necessary action,” Monsignor Burke said.
The following is Archbishop Lori’s letter:
Dear Friends in Christ,
Since 1970, Catholics in our nation have had a unique opportunity to help the poor help themselves through the work of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
Pope Francis challenges us to accept the Gospel call to “see in every person the face of the Lord to be served, and to serve him concretely.” The Holy Father continues, “Poverty calls us to sow hope … Poverty is the flesh of the poor Jesus, in that child who is hungry, in the one who is sick, in those unjust social structures.”
With your responses, we have been able to assist thousands of groups of poverty-level income people help themselves to new lives of self-respect and dignity. Building communities of hope CCHD-funded groups are changing the systems that keep people poor.
Thank you for your understanding and generosity in past years, and I warmly appeal to your generosity for this year too.
May God bless you for your care and concern for the least of our sisters and brothers. With them, I promise you my prayerful thanks.
Faithfully in Christ,
Most Reverend William E. Lori
Archbishop of Baltimore