The special collections at Mass

By Cindy St, Aubin | The Compass | March 26, 2020


Why are there so many collections during Mass? Who determines all that? What are they all used for? – Oshkosh


The majority of our diocesan collections are directed by the United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for participation by all dioceses. In our diocese, we choose to consolidate these collections. For example:

  • The World’s Poor collection is held the Fourth Sunday of Lent. The collection consists of Peter’s Pence for the pope’s philanthropic works around the world; Catholic Relief Services, used for humanitarian aid globally; the Campaign for Human Development for anti-poverty and social justice programs in the U.S.; and the Pastoral Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa.
  • The Holy Land collection takes place every Good Friday to support the Franciscans’ work to conserve holy sites in the Holy Land.
  • The Home Missions-Our Own Need collection happens on Pentecost Sunday. It includes the Black and Indian Mission collection supporting parishes, schools and missions who serve Native Americans and African Americans. From this, our diocese receives grants for parishes serving the Menominee Tribe. The Catholic Communications collection — 25% of which stays in our diocese — supports local and national needs such as The Compass and TV and radio programming. It also supports mission dioceses in the U.S. who could not otherwise offer basic ministries of word, worship and service. The Catholic University of America is also part of this collection.
  • World Mission Sunday is the second to last Sunday in October. This collection includes the Propagation of Faith (Prop), which is the missionary arm of the Holy Father. The Prop supports 1,150 missions globally, chosen each year by the pope. The Latin America and Eastern Europe collections make annual grants to specific countries or programs as approved by the USCCB.
  • Disaster collections are held when directed by Bishop David Ricken in conjunction with the USCCB. For an international disaster, we work with Catholic Relief Services. We work with Catholic Charities USA when it is a national disaster that takes place in the U.S.
  • n The Bishop’s Appeal officially kicks off the first weekend of February each year. This diocesan-wide appeal supports the mission and ministries of our diocese. These ministries help support our parishes and Catholic schools and reach many different families and individuals in need.  Young people learn about Jesus in our parishes and Catholic schools and those in need of counseling are helped at Catholic Charities.
  • The Seminarian Collection takes place on the first weekend in August. Gifts are used to benefit the education and formation of our own seminarians and support the growth of priestly vocations. Seminarians receive tuition, room and board, insurance, a small stipend. The diocesan Vocation Office also receives support for its efforts to call forth and form more candidates.
  • The Retirement Collection takes place the second weekend of December. This collection benefits women and men religious nationwide as well as our senior diocesan priests.

Parishes also have collections for their needs and/or interests. Please be generous in your support of our brothers and sisters who seek the healing presence and mercy of Christ.


St. Aubin is World Mission Director for the Diocese of Green Bay.

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