On Monday, the Pontifical Mission Societies announced that Pope Francis established an emergency fund for those impacted the coronavirus pandemic.
Agenzia Fides, the official information service for the Pontifical Mission Societies, said the fund will be used to “aid of those people and communities who are being tragically impacted by the spread of COVID-19,” going directly to “mission countries via Church structures and institutions.”
Cardinal Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, said Pope Francis is “calling upon the Church’s entire vast network to face the challenges ahead” because of the pandemic.
“In her task of evangelization, the Church is often on the front lines of major threats to human well-being. In Africa alone, there are over 74,000 religious sisters and over 46,000 priests operating 7,274 hospitals and clinics, 2,346 homes for elderly and the vulnerable, and educating over 19 million children in 45,088 primary schools. In many rural areas they are the only providers of healthcare and education.”
President of the Pontifical Mission Societies Archbishop Giampietro Dal Toso gave a statement on the creation of the fund:
“This fund has the aim of supporting the presence of the Church in mission territories, which also suffers the consequences of Corona Virus. 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. 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. I call upon our network of Pontifical Mission Societies, present in every diocese around the world, to do what they can to support this important initiative of the Holy Father.”
In establishing the fund, Pope Francis earmarked an initial contribution of $750,000, in doing so appealing to all “that are able and desirous to help, to contribute to this fund through the Pontifical Mission Societies in each country.”
If you want to contribute to the fund individually, you can do so here via the Pontifical Mission Societies’ official crowdfunding platform, Missio.
The Pontifical Mission Societies have been operating as the Catholic Church’s official support organization for overseas missions since 1822, providing for a global network of people who are making a difference for communities in need around the globe.