CCHD brings relief to marginalized communities

November 10, 2020

HOUSTON — On Nov. 21 and 22, there will be a second collection at Masses in the Archdiocese to support the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).

The funds are allocated to community projects that promote the mission and vision of CCHD while adhering to the moral and social teachings of the Catholic Church.

Sister Maureen O’Connell, OP, director of the Secretariat for Social Concerns, said the CCHD was founded almost 50 years ago by the U.S. bishops as a Catholic anti-poverty initiative.

“By identifying and addressing the obstacles people face as they work to lift themselves out of poverty, the campaign supports programs that promote self-reliance,” she said.

Sister O’Connell said, according to a recent NPR survey, 41% of African American and Latino households in Houston reported using most or all of their savings in the June peak of the pandemic, with another 19% reporting that they had no savings, to begin with.

“This means about 60% of those already hurting, low-income Houstonians were completely or nearly broke by August,” she said.

Sister O’Connell said local grants go directly to programs assisting those most in need in our community.

“Twenty five percent of the money collected stays here in the Archdiocese to fund projects that will assist those in our community who are struggling to overcome the obstacles that keep them impoverished,” she said.

Sister O’Connell said it is critical to donate to CCHD through the Church since it is the main source of income for the fund.

“In his recent encyclical ‘Fratelli Tutti,’ Pope Francis reminded us that those who are poor and vulnerable, those who live with disabilities or discrimination, and immigrants and refugees, are not issues or problems, but sisters and brothers, part of one human family,” she said. “CCHD provides us, the faithful, with the opportunity to pursue the ‘common good’ as we provide funds to the ‘least of these, our sisters and brothers’ to empower and assist in developing resilient communities.”

Some local organizations that benefited from last year’s collection were the Fe y Justicia Worker Center and San José Clinic.

The Fe y Justicia Worker Center provides a safe space for low-wage workers to gather and learn about their rights in the workplace and connect with a network for various social services and community allies to empower them.

“As marginalized members of our community, the majority of domestic workers and day laborers were confronted with increased job insecurity, discrimination and wage theft due to the environment created by COVID-19,” Sister O’Connell said. “CCHD funding allowed staff to provide much-needed information regarding worker’s rights and responsibilities during a pandemic.”

As the region’s oldest charity care clinic, San José Clinic has provided low-cost, high-quality healthcare to uninsured and underserved residents of the greater Houston area since 1922.

Maureen Sanders, president and CEO of San José Clinic, said the funding they received from CCHD was instrumental in the clinic’s ability to hire a nurse practitioner for the clinic’s new satellite location in Rosenberg. This site provides expanded services to an underserved segment of the community who a do not have access to affordable health care.
Those unable to attend Mass due to COVID-19 restrictions can contribute to their parish and identify the funds to be used for CCHD.

To learn more about the Collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, visit

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) shares funds to community projects that promote the mission and vision of CCHD while adhering to the moral and social teachings of the Catholic Church. Visit to view funding criteria and see a detailed list of the organization’s most recent grants and annual report.

Missed the parish collection or are watching online due to COVID-19 restrictions? Donations are still welcome to help those in the society’s margins. One can send additional contributions to their parish and identify the funds for CCHD.