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Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD)

CCHD helps us fulfill the appeal of Pope Benedict XVI in his 2009 World Day of Peace Message:

Catholic Charities Maine Parish Social Ministry - CCHD“I extend to every disciple of Christ and to every person of good will a warm invitation to expand their hearts to meet the needs of the poor and to take whatever practical steps are possible in order to help them.”

- (2009 World Day of Peace Message: Fighting Poverty to Build Peace, #15.)

Mission of CCHD

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is justice and charity in action through the Church. A domestic anti-poverty, social justice program of the U.S. Catholic bishops, the CCHD’s mission is to address the root causes of poverty in America through promotion and support of community-controlled, self-help organizations and through transformative education. For more information, visit their web-site.

How Does CCHD Work in the Diocese of Portland

The mission of CCHD is made possible by the generous support of Catholics in the United States, especially through an annual collection taken up in most parishes the Sunday before Thanksgiving. From this collection 25% of the collection remains in Maine, while the remaining 75% is collected by the USCCB to distribute for larger national funding opportunities from which Maine agencies and organizations that address the systemic root of poverty can also apply.

The mission of the 25% of the collection that remains in Maine is now designed to support community-based initiatives that are strongly engaged by the local Catholic parish to solve community-wide problems. The grant funds will financially assist parish ministries that will empower the poor to make ongoing life changes to become more self-sufficient in meeting his or her basic human needs. Therefore, the parish CCHD grant is designed to fund ministries that make transformational changes for those they serve and not just increasing the ministry’s capacity to assist more people through direct assistance (if this is a need for your ministry, please contact Parish Social Ministry about other possible avenues to assist your ministry). A sample of ministry examples include: a financial literacy program for those receiving emergency financial assistance from the parish; implementing a weatherization program coupled with a training session on heating tips; creating a cooking class or book for clients attending the parish’s food pantry; and starting career center to help those living on the margins with writing resumes, how to interview and assist with job searches.

In addition, this grant is designed to help parishes educate and engage parishioners in these important ministries to help the faithful concretely live out their baptismal call to serve one another. Therefore, this grant can also be used to bring in programs and create workshops that will inspire, educate and focus the direction of your parishioners in addressing community-wide issues by empowering those living on the margins. Parish Social Ministry is also available to help you determine appropriate programs, presenting and assisting in the development and direction of your parishioners.

The collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development is the weekend of November 19th-20th. Please feel free to use a bulletin announcement or bulletin insert to help you promote the collection.

For ministries interested in applying for these funds, application and moral conduct forms are due in February.  For more details about this funding opportunity please see the criteria guideline or contact Michael Smith at or 523-2772.

The national funding opportunities are now overseen by the Diocesan Director of Public Policy who can be reached at 773-6471.  More information may be obtained at

2016 Local Award Winners

  • St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Bangor
  • St. Michael Parish in Augusta
  • St. Rose of Lima Parish in Jay
  • Mary of the Visitation Parish in Houlton
  • Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Calais

2015 Local Award Winners

  • St. Mary of the Visitation Parish in Houlton
  • St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish in Scarborough
  • St. Bartholomew Parish in Cape Elizabeth
  • St. John and Holy Cross Parish in South Portland
  • St. John Vianney Parish in Fort Kent
  • St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Bangor
  • St. Michael Parish in Augusta
  • St. Rose of Lima Parish in Jay

Come, Holy Spirit, and open our hearts, minds, and souls to your presence. Grace us with the strength to follow the examples of Jesus. Like Jesus, may the Spirit provide us with a voice to cry for justice for the poor. Remind us that what we do to the least of those among us, we do to you.

Answering the voice of the Spirit, The Catholic Campaign for Human Development