USCCB photo
USCCB photo
" The proclamation of the Gospel throughout the world, with all that it entails, presupposes a support structure. The Church has always lived this way. " Jesuit Father Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy

The Peter’s Pence Collection, which aims to fund the Pope’s charitable causes throughout the world, will be taken up in parishes of the Diocese of Trenton June 26.

“It is important to collaborate because we cannot imagine that the mission of the Church can be sustained without the contribution of the faithful,” said Jesuit Father Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves, Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, in a 2021 interview for Vatican News. “The proclamation of the Gospel throughout the world, with all that it entails, presupposes a support structure. The Church has always lived this way.”

Natural disaster relief as well as propagation of the faith are among the goals of the Peter’s Pence fund. In late December 2020, Croatia was struck by an earthquake about 30 miles from its capital, Zagreb, killing seven people and causing widespread destruction. Through the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Human Development, Pope Francis was able to donate €100,000 (euros) to Caritas Croatia. Within a few days the organization was able to purchase and deliver 100 temporary housing modules for the displaced.

“Your contribution to the Peter’s Pence Collection funds not only the activities of the Roman Curia that assist the pope in the exercise of his ministry but also solidarity projects that aid those most in need, like the support to Croatia,” the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops states on its website.

Charity, said Father Alves, includes offering donations locally and globally, “but it’s not just money that comes to Rome that the Vatican distributes to different parts of the world for charitable works. This is one of the objectives of Peter’s Pence. That is, there are donations for Peter's Pence that come in and are immediately distributed to places where there is need.”

He offered the example of how, in 2021, €8 million of the €21 million collected through Peter’s Pence was distributed for evangelization or social projects in support of churches in need – mainly in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

“As Pope Francis said in his message to the Pontifical Mission Societies, the Church has always kept going, thanks to the widow's offering, and to the contribution of countless people who are grateful for the gift of faith and who give what they can,” Father Alves continued. “Already at the beginning of the Church, St. Paul promoted a collection in favor of the Church in Jerusalem (cf. 1 Cor 16:1). In his letters, the apostle gives some criteria centered on the principle of communion of the various communities of the one Church.”

The Peter’s Pence collection is “a gesture of solidarity through which every member of the faithful can participate in the activity of the Pope as Pastor of the universal Church,” the USCCB site states. "The faithful’s offerings to the Holy Father through the Peter’s Pence Collection are destined to Church needs, to humanitarian initiatives and social promotion projects, as well as to the support of the Holy See.” 

To learn more about the ways in which Peter’s Pence supports the Holy Father’s ministry of mercy, visit www.obolodisanpietro.va/en.html (English) or www.obolodisanpietro.va/es.html (Español).

If you miss your parish collection but wish to support the collection, you should direct your donation to: Peter's Pence Collection, c/o The Apostolic Nunciature, 3339 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20008

By EmmaLee Italia, contributing editor