ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Catholic Campaign for Human Development approved grants up to $300,000 to assist people and dioceses affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Meeting June 12, the Subcommittee for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development approved these funds outside of the regular funding cycle of the Campaign in order to help low-income people and vulnerable communities impacted by the oil spill to have an effective voice in shaping the response to this terrible challenge.
“This tragic oil spill has grave human, environmental and economic costs,” said Bishop Roger Morin of Biloxi, Mississippi, Chairman of the subcommittee. “As a Church, we mourn the loss of life. We pray for those whose livelihoods are in jeopardy. Through these grants, the Church also offers concrete support to the work that must be done to help these communities help themselves. It’s a powerful sign of the essential mission of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.”
The groups who receive the grants will use the funds to provide a voice for the fishermen and communities affected by the spill, coordinate with communities and emergency responders to document the damage, as well as insist on work to restore the damaged wetlands.
Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans said, “The people of the Archdiocese of New Orleans are grateful for the generosity of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. By providing our fishing communities with funds to support their efforts to recover, the CCHD has enabled the Catholic Church to continue to be a sign of Christ's compassion and hope to the fishing communities. This gift is indeed generous and will be used to provide hope and stability for these hard-working families affected by the disastrous oil spill.”
These grants reflect the teaching of the Catholic Church, which calls for responsible stewardship of the environment and protection of the poor and vulnerable, who are often most affected by environmental harm.
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is the anti-poverty program of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which seeks to assist low-income communities to break the cycle of poverty by addressing its root causes.