MADISON -- Each year, parishes take up a special collection, in November, for the Catholic Campaign Human Development (CCHD). CCHD is the domestic anti-poverty program of the U.S. Catholic bishops.
CCHD works to break the cycle of poverty by helping low-income people participate in decisions that affect their lives, families, and communities. Half of the funds collected for CCHD stay in the diocese for programs in the diocese and the other half is dedicated to national projects/programs.
Local projects funded
Through the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the bishop seeks worthy local projects to fund, with the same expressed mission as the national campaign: that of breaking the cycle of poverty, locally.
This year, Bishop Robert C. Morlino has elected to distribute this local portion to four organizations, recommended by the diocesan CCHD Advisory Committee, chaired by Fr. Jim Murphy. This year’s grant recipients and amounts are:
• Cluster 350 (parishes in Reedsburg, LaValle, Lime Ridge, and Loreto, WI) Justice and Peace Committee, as they continue to work with local food producers and the community to ensure fair trade prices and the availability of quality and healthy local food, through education, meetings, and local marketing techniques — $5000;
• The Catholic Multicultural Center, Madison, in their work with the poor and marginalized in Madison — $5000;
• Our Lady of Hope Clinic, Madison, as they treat a number of uninsured, offering free testing and treatment for the poor in our area — $5000; and
• Pro-Life Wisconsin/Vigil for Life of Madison, who, through education, direct outreach, and prayer, help provide more abortion-vulnerable women options that they and their babies can live with, as post-abortive women and families face a dramatically increased risk of experiencing poverty, substance abuse, domestic abuse, suicide, and a wide range of social ills — $1000.
While many seek out answers to questions arising with regard to organizations previously assisted through the CCHD collection, Bishop Morlino has assured the Diocese of Madison that until he is personally confident that funds collected from the faithful of the Diocese of Madison will not be used to fund groups which violate the teaching of the Church by their policies, and he will continue to seek out other helpful ways to assist those in need.
• In 2008, Bishop Morlino dedicated the national portion toward the assistance of the victims of Hurricane Ike, through the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
• In 2009, Bishop Morlino dedicated the national portion to support the work of the Little Sisters of the Poor and their international outreach to the elderly.
• In 2010, prior to the full body of the USCCB discussing the funds and future of CCHD, Bishop Morlino decided that the national portion of the collection would go to benefit the work of the Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (CFR), led by Fr. Benedict Groeschel. Central to the CFR mission is to serve the materially poor, most especially the destitute and homeless. “We know Fr. Benedict and the CFRs to be unreproachable,” said a statement from the diocese.
It is the bishop’s hope that this coming year will find an even greater number of the faithful prepare to give generously to the local CCHD collection, as well as a greater outreach of service in love to those in need.