, 11 July, 2020 / 7:51 PM
The ongoing funds drive that was initiated by the Catholic Bishops in Liberia at the beginning of Lent this year is providing an opportunity for the people of God in the West African country “to participate” in the mission of evangelization, an official has told ACI Africa.
"The campaign is about enabling all Catholics to participate in the national mission of the local church in evangelization, formation, administration, CHARITY, etc.," the Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Liberia (CABICOL), Fr. Denis Nimene told ACI Africa Tuesday, July 7.
He added, "The funds are intended for the holistic mission of the church of Liberia."
Initially scheduled to end on Pentecost Sunday, the funds drive that had been officially inaugurated on Ash Wednesday had been put on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions that suspended public worship and gatherings.
“Actually, the campaign was launched on Ash Wednesday and should have ended on Pentecost Sunday. However, the current COVID-19 crisis put a stop to the campaign and since we are reopening, we had to extend it to September 30 and reecho the message," Fr. Denis explained.
In their July 1 letter addressed to the Clergy, Religious and Laity in Liberia, the Bishops in Liberia extended the period of the campaign saying, “To ensure the participation of all, we the Bishops of CABICOL have agreed to have the support drive continued until the 30th of September 2020.”
“Mission does not end with COVID-19. In fact, perhaps one of the lessons that we have to learn from the current crisis is to be in solidarity with one another, especially the less privileged of our society,” the Bishops of Liberia said and added, “The minimum amount required from each Catholic is 1USD.”
In the interview with ACI Africa, Fr. Denis said that “one of the lessons learnt from COVID-19 is solidarity" and added in reference to the proceeds of the campaign, "Such funds will help to not only be in solidarity with other poorer churches but to demonstrate our oneness. By participating, we all share in the mission of the church.”
Explaining the genesis of the campaign, the Secretary General of CABICOL said, “the origin is due to the realization that we cannot continuously rely on external help as a Local Church, despite the fact that we do appreciate the help of our Sister Churches. Hence, the need for all Catholics to get involved.”
“All baptized Catholics that have the age of reasoning” are qualified to participate in the campaign, the Liberian Cleric added.
The members of CABICOL are also “engaging Liberian Diaspora Catholics, especially those in the US” on how to participate in the funds drive, Fr. Denis said.
“Our modalities are still being worked on,” he further said, adding that the focus on the U.S. for Catholics in diaspora is informed by the high number of Catholic Liberian natives based in the various States of USA.
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa