February 5, 2016
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This year we celebrate the important milestone of 50 years of solidarity with the Church in 25 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Church there faces many challenges, including lack of access to resources the faithful need to nourish their spiritual lives. Often, there are too few priests to meet the needs of the many communities they serve, or the communities themselves are simply too isolated to have access to other important resources for the faith. With your help and the support of the Catholic faithful, we have helped develop evangelization and catechetical programs.
For example, in the Diocese of Garzon, Colombia, the parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe is blessed with a large community; however, there are only a few priests to address its many needs. Through a grant from the Collection for the Church in Latin America, the parish was able to train pastoral and evangelization leaders for the parish community. These leaders participated in formation on leadership and teaching catechesis, as well as in spiritual retreats, so they could reach out to the larger community. The parish also created “Catholic Faith” kits to aid in evangelization and teaching catechesis to those in the community. Through this project, the parish was able to achieve its goal of creating an evangelization program that can reach the 3,700 families of the parish.
The Collection for the Church in Latin America, through projects like these, empowers the faithful of Latin America and the Caribbean to deepen their faith and share it with each other and the world. A significant portion of this collection is also used to assist in the ongoing efforts of our own Diocesan Hispanic Ministry, which serves the large number of Hispanic and Latino Catholics who are now in the Diocese of Worcester. It is gratifying to see the life of faith flourishing in these parish communities as their faith life enriches us all.
I encourage you to respond to the theme to “Share your Faith” by supporting the special Collection for the Church in Latin America in our parishes on the weekend of February 14. Please be assured of my appreciation for your generous response to this collection.
With every prayerful best wish, I remain,
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Robert J. McManus
Bishop of Worcester