In a Sept. 10 letter to CCHD national director Ralph McCloud, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki expressed his appreciation of the diocese's long association with the CCHD.
"For many years, in Chicago and now as bishop of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, I have worked closely with the Catholic Campaign for Human Development," Bishop Paprocki wrote. "I commend you and thank you for your commitment to assist low-income persons, families and communities."
Bishop Paprocki then explained that the CCHD would be replaced by a local diocesan collection that would "give us a local focus to put into practice Catholic teaching on the life and dignity of every human person and the Gospel command to care for 'the least of these' (Matt 25)"
The CCHD was founded in the 1970s by the Catholic bishops of the United States to help break the cycle of poverty by funding community programs that encourage independence. In most participating dioceses, the collection is taken up on the third Sunday in November. Seventy-five percent of the collection is sent to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to be distributed as grants. One quarter stays in the diocese to be distributed on the local level.
During the Springfield diocese's participation in CCHD, locally funded programs promoted fair housing, after-school programs, families/women/children, pro-life efforts, safe neighborhoods and more.
In the conclusion to his letter to the CCHD, Bishop Paprocki said, "Let us pray for and with one another, for openness to the Holy Spirit, as we strive to live our Catholic faith."