Church Remains Beacon of Hope in Africa

More than $1.36 Million Awarded to African Catholic Episcopal Conferences by US Bishops Subcommittee on Church in Africa

Church Remains Beacon of Hope

In Africa, where the Catholic Church remains a beacon of hope despite persistent poverty, conflict, and drought affecting many areas, 27 episcopal conferences, regional associations of episcopal conferences, and regional associations of religious congregations will receive financial support for pastoral care, leadership development, evangelization, and social ministry. Thanks to grants provided through the generosity of American Catholics through donations to the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa, vital pastoral ministries throughout Africa will receive more than $1.36 million in funds this summer.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Subcommittee on the Church in Africa approved grants for 56 pastoral projects at its meeting on June 14 preceding the bishops’ June general assembly. Funding for the grants comes from an annual special collection taken by dioceses in parishes across the United States.

“We are grateful to the many Catholics who gave to the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa in 2020, despite their own personal hardships resulting from the COVID pandemic,” said Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, CSsR of Newark, chairman of the USCCB’s Subcommittee on the Church in Africa. “These gifts will work wonders in the lives of African Catholics, who are eager to share the Gospel, care for their brothers and sisters, and raise up a new generation of Catholic leaders who will work for a more just and faithful society. Even a small gift goes a long way in these countries, and many small gifts added together make a major difference in the lives of individuals, parishes, and dioceses.”

The 56 grants reflect a breadth of pastoral and capacity-building needs.

Some examples are:

  • Popularizing and implementing Pope Francis’s environmental encyclical, Laudato Si’, in Zambia
  • Training pastoral counselors to support those traumatized by the impact of the COVID pandemic in Zimbabwe
  • Promoting evangelization in local languages in Togo
  • Organizing interfaith support for the pastoral care of refugees in Uganda
  • Creating a men’s ministry modeled on the example of St. Joseph in Malawi
  • Reinforcing the local church’s capacities for protecting minors and vulnerable adults from sexual abuse across all the dioceses in Burundi
  • Building the skills of catechists in Cameroon to address the psycho-social needs of internally displaced persons who have fled their homes to escape violence.

“The young and growing Church in Africa is filled with an energetic spirit of discipleship. By addressing the urgent pastoral needs and strengthening the capacity of the Church in Africa, these projects help build on and channel that energy and show countless people the love and mercy of Jesus through the Catholic Church,” Cardinal Tobin said.

To learn more about the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa and the impact it has across the continent, see