Vatican News with Marcel Ariston Blé
Bishop Marcellin Kouadio said the Bishops were pleased that the fund has grown beyond expectations. He said this in his fundraising inaugural address to launch this year’s appeal for the Catholic National Fund, now in its eighth year,
Bishop Kouadio urged the faithful in Côte d’Ivoire to further demonstrate their goodwill towards the Church as they have done since the fund was introduced. He encouraged the faithful to mobilise and give generously to enhance the Church’s current self-supporting projects.
What is the National Catholic Fund?
The National Catholic Fund is a common basket where all Catholics in Côte d’Ivoire contribute, at Pentecost, a sum of money, the minimum amount of which is fixed each year by the Bishops’ Conference.
The objective of the National Catholic Fund is to help the Ivorian Church be financially autonomous. The Church in Côte d’Ivoire has used the fund to build bespoke flats in the Cocody district of Abidjan. The funding generated from rentals is used to pay for the Church’s recurring expenses at various levels, such as maintaining over 500 seminarians, paying just wages to pastoral agents, and other church social programmes. In the last eight years, there have been several other projects.
Solidarity in sharing
Father Richard Kissi, Secretary of the Social and Pastoral Ministry in the Archdiocese of Abidjan, speaking at a Mass, invited the faithful to take advantage of the Lenten season to demonstrate solidarity. He asked them to share whatever gifts they may have received from the Lord.
“By helping all our brothers and sisters through contributing to our National Catholic Fund, which aims at attaining autonomy, we contribute concretely to the material needs of our Church. It is a good that will definitely help our Church grow,” said Fr Kissi.
Last year the faithful in Cote raised more than 600 million CFA francs through this initiative of the Ivorian Episcopate.