For the past 30 years, a non-profit group based in the Diocese of Allentown has been providing medical and humanitarian aid to Christians in need around the world.
Right now, the Catholic Medical Foundation is focused on helping people in Lebanon, a country where there is much human suffering, including hunger, poverty, and a lack of jobs.
To help the organization do its humanitarian work, the Diocese of Allentown will hold a special collection.
The proceeds from the upcoming collection, at all Masses on the Epiphany, the weekend of January 7 and 8, will be used by the Catholic Medical Foundation to buy and ship food to the hungry in Lebanon.
Lebanon is a war-torn part of the Holy Land that gets very little attention in the American media. A huge port explosion two years ago in Beirut led to civil unrest and corruption. Now, 80 percent of the people live below the poverty level, and lack food, money, and medicine.
The Catholic Medical Foundation was founded by a Bethlehem physician, Dr. Christopher Chapman, and his wife Judith, members of Notre Dame of Bethlehem Parish.
Working with a small group of volunteers, the group has shipped 25 cargo containers of food, medicine, and essential medical supplies worth $17 million to needy Catholics in Lebanon.
A volunteer for the Catholic Medical Foundation visits Lebanon periodically to ensure that the supplies they ship are being used for their intended purpose.
“We work primarily through the Franciscan Sisters of the Cross, Daughters of Charity, and Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus in Mary,” Chapman said. Those groups operate or are involved in Catholic hospitals in the region, he said, and they make sure our shipments are put to the best possible use.
For more information, visit the Catholic Medical Foundation website at www.cathmedfoundation.org.
As a convenience for people who want to donate, in addition to the special collection to be held in parishes, the Diocese also has set up a web page where credit card donations will be accepted: www.allentowndiocese.org/catholicmedicalfoundation