Washington (Agenzia Fides) - “Love is the Only Light ” is the theme of a 2007 Collection for Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe organised by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The theme draws from Pope Benedict XVI encyclical God is love "Deus Caritas est": “Love is the light — and in the end the only light — that can always illuminate a world grown dim and give us the courage needed to keep living and working”(DCe n.39).
"Catholics in the United States through the 2007 Collection - the information note reads - help to build parishes in many distant, unknown places such as Magadan, Russia, a part of the world where prisoners in labour camps fashioned rosaries from morsels of their bread ration". The money collected supports seminaries, social service programmes, youth ministry, pastoral centres, church construction and renovation and the spreading of the Gospel message though the mass media.
The Collection, taken in most Catholic parishes across the States on Ash Wednesday or the First Sunday of Lent, was first held in 1991 after the fall of communism in Eastern Europe to help rebuild those local Churches which suffered years of persecution. Funds since then collected have supported over 3,500 projects in more than 25 countries. Many of these countries continue to experience serious economic problems. Much has been done but so much more remains to be done, the collection organisers say. (RG) (Agenzia Fides 21/2/2007; righe 18, parole 249)