AMERICA/UNITED STATES - Pontifical Mission Societies establish ‘Solidarity Fund’ for long-term support of Church in Southeast Asia

Tuesday, 4 January 2005

New York (Fides Service) — The Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in the United States have established a special fund for long-term assistance for the Church in Southeast Asia, with special emphasis on the Church in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India. “We applaud and encourage support of the efforts of social service and relief agencies, such as Catholic Relief Services, who are responding to the immediate and overwhelming needs of our suffering brothers and sisters in that part of the world,” said Monsignor John E. Kozar, PMS national director. These Societies, which include the Propagation of the Faith and the Holy Childhood Association, are the basic means of support for the pastoral and evangelising programs in 1,150 mission dioceses, including those areas hit by these natural disasters. “As the Church in that part of the world assesses the damages and the resulting needs,” Monsignor Kozar continued, “they will need financial assistance as they help to rebuild the infrastructure of the Church there that will, in turn, be critical for people as they rebuild their homes - and their lives.” Monsignor Kozar has been in contact with the Apostolic Nuncio to Indonesia and East Timor. These Papal Representatives in every stricken country are making pastoral visits to affected areas, as well as speaking with bishops and other Church personnel to gather information in view of planning aid how and where it is most needed. “We encourage the generous hearts of Catholics in the United States as they reach out in prayer and in sacrifice to the men, women and children who suffer even more now in this part of the world,” Monsignor Kozar said. “I would also ask prayers for the Church there, and the missionaries, who remain witnesses of the great love and compassion of our Lord, and of His sustaining hope.” Contributions may be directed to: Pontifical Mission Societies, 366 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10001; please specify: Southeast Asia Solidarity Fund. PS (Fides Service 4/1/2005 lines 26 words 278)