Catholic Relief Services Collection

GPC5915

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Soon, our diocese will be taking up The Catholic Relief Services Collection. This collection funds six Catholic agencies that work to serve Jesus in the disguise of our suffering brothers and sisters around the world. These agencies provide a broad range of services, including advocating for immigrants, providing humanitarian aid in the wake of natural disasters, resettling displaced individuals, and working for increased peace in our world. Your support of this collection is an opportunity to help Jesus in disguise.

In 2005, in war-torn Afghanistan, Aazar* and Ali* lost their family due to their father’s political affiliations. The boys, ten and eight years old, fled to Pakistan, looking for safety amid the many threats to their lives. Shortly after they arrived in Quetta, Pakistan, they were separated, and despite days of searching, Aazar could not find his younger brother. Continuing to receive threats, Aazar was forced to keep moving, making his way through Pakistan and Iraq, and finally reaching an orphanage in Turkey, where he was granted refugee status. In 2012, he received a referral to be placed in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Unaccompanied Refugee Minor (URM) program, bringing him to the United States.

Once here in the United States, Aazar reached out to the BBC, which held a nightly radio program broadcast in the Middle East to find missing persons, for help in finding Ali. Within one week, his brother was found alive in Pakistan, having lived with a family for the past seven years. However, he had been residing as a domestic helper and so did not attend school, nor did he have any friends. The USCCB’s Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) program began working with agencies in the United States and Nepal and with the United Nations to reunite the brothers, and ultimately, Ali was also referred to the USCCB URM program. After nine years of separation, the brothers were once again reunited and could begin to resettle and reconnect as family.

MRS is one of the six worldwide Catholic relief agencies funded by The Catholic Relief Services Collection. These agencies work to provide food, water, disaster relief, and other vital assistance to Jesus in the disguise of suffering people each day.

Please be generous in The Catholic Relief Services Collection. Your support truly makes a difference.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

            Bishop Dennis Sullivan

            Bishop of Camden

For more information on The Catholic Relief Services Collection and the organizations it supports, please visit www.usccb.org/catholic-relief.

*Names changed to protect children’s identities.

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