For more than a decade, several ministries have benefitted from Catholic Home Missions. Across the country the annual Catholic Home Missions Appeal is the second collections at Masses on April 29-30.
Through the collection, parishioners are given the opportunity to turn their contributions into a helping hand in the Diocese of Beaumont and other mission dioceses. Last year Southeast Texas parishes contributed more than $53,000 to the collection.
The Diocese of Beaumont has received more than $650,000 in grants from Catholic Home Missions since 2006. This past year the diocese was awarded $80,000 in grants.
Contributions to this collection are currently providing financial stability to key diocesan ministries such as Hispanic Ministry, Family Life Ministry, Campus Ministry and the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis. These ministries provide services that include helping recent immigrants transition to their new parishes, strengthening families through marriage enrichment programs, supporting college students as they grow into their faith and training parish catechetical teams for leadership roles.
Catholic Home Missions is designed to assist dioceses like the Beaumont diocese that are designated as “mission dioceses.” Home Mission dioceses are those dioceses in the United States that cannot provide basic pastoral services to Catholics without outside help. A diocese is characterized as a mission for several reasons: large geographic areas that makes catechesis difficult because of limited clergy, Catholicism as the minority denomination in communities, and areas of the diocese facing economic hardship.
Much of the Beaumont Diocese is made up of small rural communities separated by large distances making catechesis, formation and leadership training a financial challenge. Catholicism is the minority denomination in the Diocese, making up only 11 percent of the total Southeast Texas population.
“For many dioceses it is challenging to support ministries because of fragile financial situations or isolated communities,” said Archbishop Paul D. Etienne of Anchorage, Alaska, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions. “It is through the Catholic Home Missions Appeal that we can make a difference here at home and help our mission dioceses offer places for people to encounter the loving and merciful Christ.”