Monday, February 8, 2016

Bishop Monforton On How You Can Make A Difference On Ash Wednesday

By Anusia Dickow

[Let us] never tire of opening our hearts and offering a hand to all who ask us for help.

~Pope Francis, Address to Priests and Religious, Bosnia and Herzegovina, June 2015

This week, as we begin our Lenten journey, we remember our brothers and sisters who live in Central and Eastern Europe who struggle to rebuild both churches and faith communities in a post-communist society. Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton of the Diocese of Steubenville serves on the Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, and recently traveled with USCCB staff to Belarus and Poland.

In Belarus he visited with faith communities in Minsk, and with seminarians in Pinsk and Grodno, speaking with those who benefit from the grants received from the Subcommittee. In Poland, Bishop Monforton traveled to Krakow to visit with priests and others in the diocese who help coordinate pastoral programs.

Click here to hear Bishop Monforton speak about his travels, the challenges this region of the world faces, but also the great hope that can be found in this region. Despite the history of hardship, those who live there have deep faith and, as Bishop Monforton reminds us, there is much we can do here in the United States to support our brothers and sisters.

On Ash Wednesday, many parishes in the United States will be taking up the Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. Contributions to this collection fund grants for projects in 28 countries to both rebuild the religious institutions, and also to bolster the faith of those who live there. This collection is an opportunity for us to begin Lent with an act of mercy and solidarity with those who live in this region of the world.

If you would like more information about the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, please visit: Click here for additional resources and information about the collection.

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