The Diocese of Trenton will join its counterparts across the nation in holding the Catholic Campaign for Human Development’s annual collection at all Masses Nov. 18-19.
Aimed at fighting poverty both domestically and abroad – including within the four counties of the Diocese -- CCHD collection coincides with the Church’s celebration of the seventh annual World Day of the Poor.
CCHD is the domestic anti-poverty program of the U.S. Catholic Bishops. Seventy-five percent of the monies collected by CCHD in the Diocese of Trenton is sent to the national office, helping to fund the campaign’s community and economic development grants as well as education programs aimed at fostering a culture of life and hope in communities across the nation.
The remaining 25 percent remains in the Diocese to help support designated local Catholic social service agencies and parishes ministries who work to provide food programs, child care and youth activities, housing assistance and other developmental services to those in need. Local grants have previously been awarded for after school programs; projects to feed families over the summer months when school is not in session; resources such as free income tax preparation and budget management, and mortgage and rent subsidy.
The funds are intended to “enhance or provide a foundation of self-sufficiency – a ‘hand up’ rather than a handout,” as described by the Diocese’s CCHD grant application.
Pope Francis established the World Day of the Poor in 2017 to take place each year on the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time and has asked for the occasion to be marked with “moments of encounter and friendship, solidarity and concrete assistance” with people living in poverty.
“This, the seventh annual World Day of the Poor, is a fruitful sign of the Father’s mercy and a support for the lives of our communities,” Pope France wrote in his 2023 message. “As its celebration becomes more and more rooted in the pastoral life of the Church, it enables us to discover ever anew the heart of the Gospel.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s data for 2018, more than 38 million Americans walk “a thin line: between eviction and home, between hunger and health, between unemployment and work, between anxiety and stability. This line is the Poverty Line. For a family of four, that line is $25,750 a year.”
The CCHD collection supports the work of groups that empower low-income people to participate in decisions that affect their lives and work to break the cycle of poverty in their own communities. Many of the projects supported by CCHD embody the Corporal Works of Mercy, including the protection of worker rights and expanding access to healthcare.
Parishioners are asked to respond to the CCHD collection as generously as their means will allow. Those who miss the parish collection can still send a check or money order to: Catholic Campaign for Human Development, Office of National Collections, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, P.O. Box 96278, Washington, DC 20090-6278.
Learn more about the collection HERE.