Catholic Extension Grants $175,000 in Emergency Relief Funding to United States-Mexico Border Dioceses

CHICAGO (August 18, 2014) – Catholic Extension announced today that it is providing emergency relief funding to six border dioceses. The special emergency grants are specific to each diocese’s existing needs. Direct funding is being made to the following dioceses: Las Cruces, Laredo, Tucson, Brownsville, El Paso and San Bernardino.

“We feel we have a moral responsibility to help the dioceses that are exhausting their resources on this monumental humanitarian crisis,” said Father Jack Wall, president of Catholic Extension. “No federal government funding has been received. In this vacuum, Catholic Extension is called to step up to support these heroic people at work in the dioceses. They are demonstrating love and outreach to the strangers who have shown up at their door.”

Catholic Extension’s reach continues to expand due to growing need for essential resources. In under-resourced dioceses all along the United States-Mexico border, thousands of Catholics live in communities that lack basic city support services and infrastructure. In fact, among the six dioceses, supported through this initiative along or near the Mexican border, there are 4.3 million Catholics—many of whom live well below poverty compared to other dioceses in the country.

In addition to these difficulties, the current international crises unfolding on the U.S. border is estimated to bring approximately 90,000 unaccompanied children into the United States in 2014, mostly from Central American countries. This will put a heavy strain on personnel, volunteers, and social services that must respond to the large numbers and needs of this population.

By providing the funding necessary for much-needed resources, Catholic Extension is a critical partner to these Catholic dioceses whose mission is to empower individuals and families to have faith, hope and opportunity.

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About Catholic Extension:  Catholic Extension uniquely contributes to the growth and vibrancy of the Church in the United States by strategically investing in poor mission dioceses.  Based in Chicago, this national organization provides funding to dioceses and parishes to support programs and services that invest in people, their ministries and their churches.  Since 1905, Catholic Extension has distributed more than $500 million to communities across America. For more information visit www.catholicextension.org.

CATHOLIC EXTENSION HISTORY IN TEXAS

Catholic Extension’s funding history in the state of Texas dates back to 1906 when two grants to help build churches in the towns of La Lomita and Uvalde, Texas, were included in a group of Catholic Extension’s inaugural grants.

Since then, Catholic Extension’s funding has helped to grow and strengthen all 15 dioceses in the state of Texas at some point during the last 107 years. This has included:

• More than 5,000 individual grants funded in the state of Texas from 1906-2013
• Nearly $70 million in support to the state of Texas from 1906-2013
• When adjusted for inflation, this amounts to more than $168 million in 2013 dollars

Currently, nine of the 15 Texas dioceses are considered mission dioceses for Catholic Extension: Amarillo, Beaumont, Brownsville, El Paso, Laredo, Lubbock, San Angelo, San Antonio and Tyler. In the last five years alone, Catholic Extension has sent more than $11.5 million in support to these nine mission dioceses.

BUILDING CHURCHES IN THE STATE OF TEXAS

The construction of churches and church facilities has been always been one of the foundations of Catholic Extension’s support to mission dioceses. This includes construction of churches, parish halls and rectories, as well as facility renovations. Additionally, more information about Catholic Extension’s funding to build churches in the state of Texas includes:

• Catholic Extension has helped fund 1,842 church facilities projects in the state of Texas.
• This includes the most recently dedicated church in the United States – St. Francis of Assisi Church in Iraan, Texas, which received an $84,000 grant from Catholic Extension and was dedicated in November 2013, by Bishop Pfeifer of San Angelo.
• 344 church facilities grants have been made to the Archdiocese of San Antonio, 217 to the Diocese of Amarillo, and 205 to the Diocese of El Paso.

For media inquiries in Texas, please contact:
Kalinda Howe
3 Point Partners
512-600-5915
khowe@3pointpartners.com