Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 17, 2003
CCODP promotes sharing with Third World poor
By ART BABYCH
Canadian Catholic News
Catholics everywhere joined Pope John Paul's call for prayer and fasting for peace in the Middle East as Lent got underway March 5.
The pope had asked the one billion Catholics worldwide to pray and "proclaim that never can we be happy if one is set against the other, that the future of mankind can never be assured by terrorism and the logic of war."
In Canada, Ash Wednesday also coincides with the start of Share Lent, the annual fundraising drive of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace. CCODP was founded 35 years ago by the bishops to promote international solidarity and aid. This year's campaign goal is $10 million.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops had encouraged people who fast on Ash Wednesday to donate the equivalent amount of money they would have spent on food that day to the Share Lent campaign.
Archbishop Brendan O'Brien of St. John's, Nfld., is the honorary chair of the 2003 Share Lent campaign. "On behalf of the conference of bishops, I encourage all Canadian Catholics to share generously with our sisters and brothers around the world so that all may have according to their needs."
In its fundraising campaign for 2001-02, the development organization raised $9.6 million, an increase of about $300,000 from the previous year. But cuts in funding from the Canadian International Development Agency contributed to a drop in overall revenue of about $500,000.
Expenses in 2001-02 totalled $24.3 million and included $450,000 for social justice in Canada, more than $56,000 higher than the previous year. However, a special fundraising drive left the organization with a surplus for the period of $24,000.
Development and Peace supports local, regional and national programs in Third World countries in the areas of education and community development; human rights advocacy; communications and community media; and in agriculture and economic activities, such as women's credit unions and co-operatives.
Programs are supported with funds from Share Lent, private donations and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).