Good news about giving
Fasting and prayer lead to financial help
By Tony Staley
The Vatican released some good news last week. People who took part in the Dec. 14 day of fasting and prayer for peace sent the Vatican more than $700,000 to help victims of war and terrorism.
The funds will be distributed by the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum," primarily for "children, the elderly, the ill, the homeless and those most exposed to the dangers of cold and hunger in these winter months."
Pope John Paul had asked those who took part in the day of prayer and fasting to financially help victims of terrorism and war.
Nor was that the only good news on charitable giving. Empty Tomb, a nonprofit Christian research and service organization based in Champaign, Ill., reported that giving to churches increased in 1999, including giving as a percentage of disposable income.
The study, which includes about 30% of Christian (but not Catholic churches), found that annual giving per member in 1999 was $625, up from $588 in 1998.
Catholic parishes and individual Catholics are invited to do their own comparisons to see how they stack up against our Protestant sisters and brothers.