U.S. Bishop to Inspect Church Projects Supported by American Catholics in African Visit

Bishop John Patrick Dolan | Screenshot from SDCatholics YouTube channel.

A representative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is set to visit Africa with the aim of viewing Church projects and programs that the American Catholics are funding through the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa.

In his 12-day trip planned to start August 6, Bishop John Patrick Dolan of the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix in Arizona in the U.S. will visit Kenya Uganda, and Ethiopia where he will conduct meetings with Church leaders before touring Church projects.

According to a Tuesday, August 1 report, Bishop Dolan who will be having his first trip to Africa “will see projects benefiting from past funds, how current funds are being used and perhaps improve upon that use.”

The USCCB’s Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa was established in 2007 with the aim of raising funds through local parish collections as well as donations in order to support the Church in Africa as it is considered to be growing faster.

Bishop Dolan is one of eight U.S. Bishops sitting on the USCCB’s subcommittee on the Church in Africa, which decides where to send African funds. The report indicates that the “panel reviews grant applications and makes decisions twice a year – in June and November.”


The Bishop who joined the USCCB Subcommittee in April this year said that his Diocese is “special focus” on the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa.

Bishop Dolan is said to have instructed the 94 parishes under his Pastoral care to use the special collection “as a way to help educate the faithful about the beauty of the universal Church and its needs.”

“While we work lovingly to build our parish communities, we are always aware, and at times need to remind ourselves, that we are part of a universal Church that is not bound to one people or place,” the Bishop of Phoenix Diocese since August last year said in a letter addressed to the parishes.

He added, “Our local church in fact is always in communion with the whole Church and the life of grace that flows through it.”

The August 1 report lists poverty, ecological disasters, government unrest, conflict, and major population displacements as some of the challenges affecting the Church on the African continent.

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The Solidarity Fund is meant to focus exclusively on pastoral needs, including pastoral and catechetical programs; equipping seminaries and seminarians; continuing education of clergy; communications and mass media; and supporting Catholic education and schools.

Last year, the USCCB subcommittee is said to have approved grants totaling more than $2.6 million for 91 projects in Africa. Diocesan seminarians in Sudan and South Sudan and some lay leaders in Uganda’s Kasana-Luweero Diocese benefited from the grants.

Africa is listed among the destinations of millions of dollars raised by American dioceses.

Grants come from four different national collections that American dioceses contributed to, namely the Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, the Collection for the Church in Latin America, the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa, and the 2022 Bishops Emergency Disaster Fund.” 

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.