On Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17, our diocese participates in the special Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. This collection offers a way for Catholics in the United States to stand in solidarity with those who experience the ongoing effects of living under communism and the lack of religious freedom.
The worldwide coronavirus outbreak restricted nonessential travel across the globe. Stay-at-home orders, physical distancing and quarantine practices implemented to mitigate the spread of the disease revealed great and urgent needs, especially in those countries of Eastern Europe still in turbulent transition stages since the fall of communism. Weak economies were made more vulnerable; those affected included the elderly as well as doctors, nurses and medical chaplains.
In Ukraine, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) came to the assistance of homebound senior citizens in many cities, using Church facilities to organize the work and engaging both local volunteers and assistance from abroad. Volunteers prepared meals and delivered them to needy seniors throughout the city. In addition, the UGCC mobilized its network of about 120 hospital chaplains and collected and distributed badly needed protective clothing, masks, sanitizer and other necessities to ensure their safety as they ministered to the sick throughout the country.
Please be generous; your support helps nurture communities in which Catholics can share and grow in faith. For more information about the collection and who it supports, visit www.usccb.org/ccee. Thank you for your help in restoring the Church and building the future in Central and Eastern Europe.