by Martin Thompson, Diocese of Steubenville, OH

For several years, our organization has provided small grants to organizations that serve in a variety of ministries. Grant recipients do not have the same financial resources that many of our local Dioceses or Parishes enjoy. Since the grant program has been put into place, several agencies, Diocesan offices, Catholic Charities and Mission organizations have been approved for small grant funding.

This year’s grants went to the following:

Diocese of Mannar, Sri Lanka submitted by the Diocese of London Ontario

A civil war has been raging in Sri Lanka for over 25 years. It has claimed the lives of over 80,000 innocent people and displaced over 500,000 from their homes. These people have been anguishing in temporary shelters for over 15 years. The region of Mannar is one of the badly affected areas. Catholic organizations and parishes in this diocese are working very hard to help these people to have a normal life at this difficult situation.

St. Josephine Bakhita Parish submitted by the Diocese of Sioux Falls

St. Josephine Bakhita Parish was established in 2004 and is ministering to Sudanese families. Many Sudanese come from countries that are suffering today as a result of war and natural disasters, causing them to flee their homes to seek refuge in other places where life is known to be safe. There are approximately 500 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, who came from Africa that are active in the St. Josephine Bakhita Parish. The Sudanese people use faith as the foundation for their life in America. Any grant money would be put to use for education, counseling and services in the parish.

The DISC membership continues to benefit from profits through a partnership with Insight and a percentage of the funds are designated for these grants. We, as members, have been given the opportunity to model our faith in the form of stewardship to those that are in need of financial assistance. This is a demonstration of our faith that we are all one, working to carry out the work of the church.