Through his international mission agency, of which Catholic Mission is the Australian arm, the funds will be directed to communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis.
The Emergency Fund will be used to accompany impacted communities in mission countries via Church structures and institutions.
Cardinal Luis Tagle, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, said the fund was part of a push for solidarity in the Church.
“The Holy Father is calling upon the Church’s entire vast network to face the challenges ahead,” he said.
The establishment of the emergency fund, which was boosted by a US$750,000 contribution, coincides with a campaign launched by Catholic Mission titled, ‘We Are Still Here’. It focuses on the continued presence of missionaries in communities around the world where the impact of COVID-19 is exacerbated by poverty and inequality.
The campaign has raised more than $50,000 already and will run until June 30.
“The support of our global missionary network and the critical projects they operate, including pastoral care, water, health and sanitation initiatives is as critical now as ever,” said Fr Brian Lucas, national director of Catholic Mission.
“This is an unprecedented crisis that requires compassionate and whole-hearted support of one another.”
Archbishop Giampietro Dal Toso, president of the Pontifical Mission Societies which will administer the fund, says the missionary aspect of humanitarian support, which combines pastoral and practical outreach, is essential in this uncertain climate.
“Through the Church’s activity of preaching the Gospel and of practical aid through our vast network, we can show that no one is alone in this crisis,” he said.
“In this sense, the Church’s institutions and ministers play a vital role. This is the Holy Father’s intention in establishing this Fund. While so many are suffering, we remember and reach out to those who may have no one to care for them, thus showing forth the love of God the Father.”
See here how missionaries around the world remain dedicated to serving their communities despite the COVID-19 impact. Learn how you can support the work at catholicmission.org.au.Jump to next article