Holy Thursday Collection Earmarked for Latin and Caribbean Poor

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 15, 2002 (Zenit.org).- At John Paul II´s request, the collection during the Mass on Holy Thursday in the Vatican will be allocated to Latin America´s Indians and mestizos.



A press statement published by Bishop Piero Marini, master of papal liturgical celebrations, confirms that the Holy Father once again will wash the feet of 12 priests during the Mass of the Last Supper. The congregation will be asked to make a special charitable gesture.

The beneficiaries of their generosity will be "the Indians and mestizos, poorest of the poor of Latin America and the Caribbean," Bishop Marini said.

"The amount collected will be given to the Holy Father at the moment of the presentation of the gifts," the statement adds.

In 1992, John Paul II created the "Populorum Progressio" Foundation to try to help these peoples, most of whom are peasants. The administrative council of the foundation is headed by the president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" and six Latin American bishops.

The foundation has financed 1,500 microprojects for integral development amounting to $13 million. It is supported by benefactors worldwide.