The Diocese of Trenton will join with sister dioceses around the nation to take up the annual Peter’s Pence Collection at all Masses during the weekend of June 30-July 1.

Entitled “Be a Witness of Charity,” the collection assists the Holy Father to respond with emergency financial assistance to requests for aid to the neediest throughout the world – those who suffer as a result of war, oppression and natural disasters. Moreover, it provides the faithful with a tangible opportunity to not only empower the weak, defenseless and voiceless, but also to sustain those who suffer.

The collection, entitled “Be a Witness of Charity,” takes its name from Pope Francis’ challenge to look at those around us with the eyes of mercy. At a Nov. 12, 2016, jubilee audience, the Holy Father said, “We encounter so many weary and oppressed people today … And how is our heart? Is it merciful? And our way of thinking and acting, is it inclusive?”

For instance, in Iraq, many people still live a nightmare of war and violence, leaving many displaced, including young people in the midst of their studies. Without an educated population, it will be difficult for the country to gain stability. But with the support of the Peter’s Pence Collection, the Archdiocese of Erbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan, has received funding for 10 scholarships for young displaced persons.

With support to the Peter’s Pence collection, and the assistance of the Vicar of the Latin Patriarchate in Amman, Jordan, a funding network has been created to respond to the needs of Immaculate Conception Parish School in Al Huson. The parish assists more than 800 children, many of whom are refugees from the war in Syria. With help from university students in the parish who teach math, Arabic and English, hundreds of children not in the school system are learning to read and write.

The USCCB National Collections Committee oversees the promotion of the Peter’s Pence Collection, which has raised over $190 million in aid.

For more information, see usccb.org/peters-pence, or find the collection on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Donations can be mailed directly to Peter’s Pence Collection, The Apostolic Nunciature, 3339 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20008.