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Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
The following offers descriptions on the special collections that are taken up in all parishes throughout the year. For more information, contact the Stewardship and Development Office.
The Black and Indian Mission Collection was established in 1884, bringing Christ’s light to the Black, American Indian, Eskimo and Aleute communities of the United States. The funds are distributed as grants to dioceses throughout the country, supporting and helping to strengthen evangelization programs which otherwise would cease. The Diocese of Little Rock receives some of these grants each year which support certain ministries around the state who specialize in helping the Black and Indian communities.
Arkansas Catholic, the diocese’s weekly newspaper, kicks off its annual subscription drive the first weekend of February each year. New subscribers can obtain a subscription envelope at their parish or in their collection envelope packet. Subscriptions are $24 a year for one year, $46 for two years or $65 for three years. A discount is given to parishioners 65 years and older. Also, there is a new online edition for only $12.95 a year. For more information, call (501) 664-0125 or visit www.arkansascatholic.org.
The countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union endured decades of communist oppression. Also emerging from the years of communist rule is the Church, which suffered grave wounds to its spiritual life and its ability to serve. Now it is vigorously involved in rebuilding the faith of its people. Proceeds from this collection, sponsored by the bishops of the United States, are used for things such as supporting religious education programs, training seminarians, expanding social ministries, and rebuilding churches, convents and schools.
This collection benefits the Archdiocese for Military Services, which provides pastoral services for members of the armed forces and their families. The Archdiocese for the Military Collection is held once every three years.
The Ash Wednesday Collection supports the evangelization mission of the Church in Arkansas. This includes providing priests, religious and lay personnel to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ as they serve among the people of our diocese who lack the financial resources to support fully the priests, religious and lay personnel who serve them.
The Catholic Relief Services Collection supports emergency relief, human development and peace initiatives in 99 countries around the world, where nearly half the population lives on less than $2 a day. The collection supports the ministries of five Catholic Church organizations: Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), Migration and Refugee Services (MRS), Social Development and World Peace (SDWP) and the Holy Father’s Relief Fund.
The Msgr. James O'Connell Seminarian Fund was established more than 50 years ago to pay for the education of Diocese of Little Rock seminarians. This fund was invested through the years and covered the costs until recently. Now the cost of educating seminarians has risen significantly. And since the diocese has 40-plus seminarians, the cost for tuition, room and board, health insurance and other immediate needs is more than $2 million a year. Therefore, the Holy Thursday Collection for Diocese of Little Rock Seminarians was established in 2009 to help pay for the increased cost of seminarian education, which is provided free of charge to all qualified students, regardless of income.
Christians living where Christ walked, taught, lived and died, live in a land of war, death and destruction. The Holy Land Collection is a pontifical collection that supports the Holy Land for the welfare of their Christian brethren and of the local communities. Funds for this collection not only support the holy places, but also pastoral, charitable, educational and social works throughout the Holy Land.
This collection raises funds in order to reach hearts of people and spread the Gospel. Its essential mission is to contribute to the process of evangelization by contributing to activities in relation to television, radio and other media. Fifty percent of these funds are sent back to the national office where grants are then given. The remaining portion is retained by our diocese for our own local communication projects.
The collection for the Church in Latin America promotes solidarity throughout the hemisphere by providing for pastoral projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. The funds are used to make grants and partnerships that support catechetical and lay leadership programs, youth ministry, evangelization programs and formation programs for religious, priests and deacons. This collection allows the Catholic faithful in the western hemisphere to work together and help each other.
The Peter’s Pence Collection enables the Holy Father to respond with emergency financial assistance to requests to aid the most needy throughout the world. This can include those who are suffering as a result of war, oppression and natural disasters.
The Catholic Home Missions Appeal strengthens the Catholic Church in the United States and its territories where resources are thin and priests are few. The funds collected help these Catholic communities survive and thrive, by underwriting evangelization, religious education, education for future priests, training for lay ministers and poor parishes that would have to close their doors without outside help. For many years Catholic Home Missions has given much support to the Diocese of Little Rock, which has enabled the diocese to help many parishes in need of special support.
Catechetical Sunday is a celebration for parishes across the country to recognize and thank those who give generously of their time and gifts in the work of catechesis. The collection taken up on this day helps to fund religious education. It is divided equally between the local parish religious education program and the diocese’s Office of Faith Formation.
By baptism, all Catholics are called to participate in the mission of the Church. This means they are called to share their faith as missionaries. The World Mission Sunday Collection gathers funds to be distributed in the pope’s name to support the pastoral and evangelization programs and needs of more than 1,150 mission dioceses in Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands and remote regions of Latin America.
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development works to uphold the dignity of human life by breaking the cycle of poverty in the United States through grants to local community-based groups that create jobs, improve education and strengthen neighborhoods. Twenty-five percent of this collection remains in our diocese to fund our local anti-poverty projects.
In 2009, the Diocese of Little Rock contributed $129,403.66 to this collection. In 2010, the Benedictine sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery, the Benedictine monks of Subiaco Abbey, the Olivetan Benedictine sisters of Holy Angels Convent and the Discalced Carmelite Nuns of the Carmel of St. Teresa of Jesus all received financial assistance from this collection. Additionally, women and men religious who serve or have served in the diocese but whose institutes are headquartered elsewhere may benefit from this fund.
This collection at all Masses on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day supports the Clergy Welfare Fund. Our priests have dedicated their lives to ministering and serving our families. This fund allows us to give back by providing care for retired, senior and infirm priests in our diocese.