Twenty-Two Organizations Awarded Catholic Campaign For Human Development Funds
Cardinal George Highlights Major Funding for U.S. Bishops’ Immigration Initiative
CHICAGO (September 19, 2005) Hundreds of people representing 22 anti-poverty and social justice groups in Chicago and the people they serve will receive checks totaling $464,000 from Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago, and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development during ceremonies on Thursday, September 22, at 5:30 p.m. in Catholic Charities’ St. Vincent Hall, 721 N. LaSalle St., Chicago.
Groups who fight discrimination, educate immigrants, mobilize people of all faiths to support worker rights, train and develop community leaders, advocate for affordable housing and provide business training and work opportunities for the poor will receive checks ranging from $15,000, (the average local grant), to $35,000, (the largest national grant amount). Four groups that focus on job creation will receive economic development grants totaling $60,000.
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development strongly supports the U.S. Catholic bishops’ concern for immigrants and has already committed $885,000 in specially-designated Campaign for Human Development funds (funds raised specifically for this issue) to be distributed over three years to sustain activities that improve the plight of immigrants.
During the gathering, two immigrant families from two grant recipient groups, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and the Chicago Worker’s Collaborative, will share their stories on the impact of immigrant status on family life and labor practices.
It is a result of these and many more such stories like them that prompted the bishops of the United States in June to launch their Justice for Immigrants: A Journey of Hope campaign. In it they suggest a three-pronged approach to improving life for immigrants that includes education of Catholics about the benefits of immigration and the benefits of immigrants to our nation , advocacy for positive legislative reforms and an organized method of delivering the results via Catholic networks.
“CCHD grants have been supporting self-help projects focused on immigration issues over the past six years in the Archdiocese and the State of Illinois.” notes Chicago Archdiocesan CCHD Director Elena Segura. “I am pleased to connect the distribution of local and national CCHD grants with the bishops’ campaign for immigration reform because both represent the Church’s best efforts to fulfill the Gospel mandate to love and to serve,” Segura said.
Cardinal George has joined fellow bishops in advocating changes in U.S. immigration policy as a necessary extension of the Church’s respect for the life and dignity of all people.
“We ask for immigration reform,” the Cardinal says, “because each day in our parishes, service agencies, health-care facilities and schools we witness the human consequences of an inadequate system. We believe positive changes in the legal immigration system to regulate better and treat people more justly will help put an end to the separation of families, and to the exploitation of immigrants, especially in the workplace.”
CCHD monies come from an annual collection taken up in November in parishes throughout the U.S. A portion of the money raised stays in local dioceses to be distributed in the form of local grants. This year Chicago’s local grants totaled $175,000. The rest of the warded Catholic Campaign For Human Development Funds-3
Campaign money is distributed by the national office of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development in Washington, D.C. in the form of national and economic development grants. Seven Chicago area groups received a total of $209,000 in national grants this year.