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Collection to help needy out of poverty

On the final weekend of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy – Nov. 19 and 20 – Catholics across the archdiocese and around the country have a special opportunity to show mercy and help the poor.

It's the annual collection at weekend Masses for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the U.S. bishops’ national anti-poverty campaign.

"The Year of Mercy, a time of extraordinary grace, is also a fitting time for the annual CCHD collection," said Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, chair of the CCHD subcommittee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

"The Mercy of Jesus is abiding and always urgent," Bishop Soto said. "CCHD sustains the Holy Father’s initiative to bring the joy of the Gospel to our brothers and sisters living on the margins of American life."

Omar Gutierrez, manager of the Archdiocese of Omaha’s Office of Missions and Justice, said the collection supports groups that empower people living in poverty to participate in decisions affecting such things as workers’ rights, health care and legal issues.

"The collection is a unique kind of charitable work because we’re not just giving money away, but we’re supporting organizations that help the poor help themselves out of poverty," Gutierrez said.

Last year, parishes across the archdiocese raised about $84,000, and 35 percent, or $29,400, remained in the archdiocese to help support local organizations, including Catholic Charities, Essential Pregnancy Services, Operation Others, St. Pius X Parish community outreach programs, and Together, Inc., all in Omaha, Gutierrez said.

In addition, the CCHD nationally gave $45,000 to the Heartland Workers Center in Omaha, which provides worker training and has conducted research into the needs of Latinos in urban and rural communities, Gutierrez said.

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