Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Soon our diocese will take The Catholic Relief Services Collection (CRSC). Your support of this collection serves Jesus in disguise in some of the most marginalized communities in our world. Proceeds from this national collection provide services for immigrants and refugees, humanitarian aid in the wake of natural disasters, and advocacy for peace and justice around the world. Please join in this collection to support those suffering on the margins around the world.
For example, in Central America, there are more than 1 million young people, aged fifteen to twenty-five years old, who are out of school and unemployed. Throughout the region, crime and violence run rampant. Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador have some of the highest murder rates in the world. The escalating violence stifles investment and economic growth, further limiting opportunities for jobs. These factors push young people, already discouraged by a lack of opportunity, to emigrate in record numbers. Economic opportunities are limited, and most education and employment programs do not reach the most at-risk youth, nor are the programs linked to real jobs in the market.
With your support of the CRSC, thousands of young people can participate in YouthBuild, a program that provides them necessary life skills and opportunities. YouthBuild, a part of the YouthBuild International network, provides job skills and entrepreneurship training, school re-entry, job placement, and social services. More than 5,000 young people have participated in YouthBuild, and 80 percent of its participants have found work, gone back to school, or both.
Your support of this collection makes a difference for so many around the world. Please prayerfully consider how you can support it this year. If you want to learn more about the collection and the people who benefit, please visit www.usccb.org/catholic-relief.
I encourage you to support the collection, and answer the knock of Jesus in disguise.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades
Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend
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