On Ash Wednesday, March 2, our diocese will participate in the special Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe.
Pope Francis wrote of our need not only to care for people with disabilities but also “to ensure their ‘active participation in the civil and ecclesial community’” (Fratelli Tutti, no. 98).
People with disabilities in Belarus face challenges of social isolation, especially if they rely on wheelchairs. If they lack close relatives, friends or guardians to help them, they can find it difficult to access services, information and accessible transportation. As a result, they often lack the opportunity to build relationships, work in groups, and meet their social and spiritual needs.
The Tabita program is an initiative begun in June 2018 that is run by Caritas Belarus and supported through funding from the Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. It assists people with disabilities by bringing them together to socialize, share their experiences, and pray in an environment where volunteers, as well as a volunteer coordinator and a part-time social worker, are available to assess and assist participants with their physical, social, psychological and spiritual needs.
When we support the Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, we help programs like Tabita break down the walls of isolation separating people with disabilities from the community and from each other.
Please be generous in supporting this collection. Consider giving at Mass or through your parish online giving platform. #iGiveCatholicTogether also accepts funds for the collection. For more information about the collection and who it supports, visit www.usccb.org/ccee.