Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Soon our diocese will be taking up the national collection for the Church in Latin America. Although the people are faith-filled, the needs in this region of the world are great and can often seem insurmountable. The distance in rural areas and deteriorated roads make it difficult for some communities to have Mass regularly. Language barriers and lack of resources make catechetical materials difficult to produce. We are called to share our faith with all, and this collection is a prophetic and bold way to do so.
In Cuba, in the Archdiocese of San Cristobal de la Habana, the Church is not present in many of the smaller or rural communities. For many years, there were no ministers and there was no mission house - not to mention a church building - to which the people could tum. The message of the Gospel could not spread, because there were very few messengers to share it and few places where people could go to hear it. But with your support, pastoral agents have received training to bring the Gospel to these areas and neighborhoods. Your support has helped bring people to the Church, through religious education and retreats, and the Church to the people, through evangelization efforts and the repair of church buildings. This has given them the hope and the joy of the Gospel.
Our diocese takes up this collection the weekend of January 27-28. Please be generous in this collection, and take this opportunity to share your faith with many families in Latin America and the Caribbean. Your support will truly make a difference. Thank you and God bless you.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Robert J. BaJcer, S.T.D. Bishop of Birmingham in Alabama
For more information on the Church in Latin America and the many projects funded by the collection, please visit www.usccb.org/latin-america.