People receive bread during the distribution of humanitarian aid in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine, May 8, 2022, during the Russian invasion. (CNS photo/Alexander Ermochenko, Reuters)
People receive bread during the distribution of humanitarian aid in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine, May 8, 2022, during the Russian invasion. (CNS photo/Alexander Ermochenko, Reuters)

The faithful in the Diocese of Albany were certainly up to the challenge.

Just two months ago, the Diocesan Investment & Loan Trust (DILT) issued a “Christian challenge” to individuals, parishes and organizations in the Diocese of Albany to raise money for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to aid Ukrainian humanitarian relief.

In just 60 days, a whopping $304,859.31 was raised for Catholic Relief Services to support ongoing humanitarian relief efforts in the war-torn country. The challenge started March 11 when the DILT issued a grant to CRS for $50,000 and announced it would match up to another $50,000 for money raised from outside sources. That money, collected by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany, totaled $204,859.31.

“Just two months ago, the Diocesan Investment & Loan Trust issued a restricted grant of $50,000 to Catholic Relief Services for Ukrainian humanitarian relief efforts,” said Father David. LeFort, DILT trustee. “At the same time, the trust invited others from our region to join in these efforts, promising a matching grant of up to an additional $50,000. 

“I am so delighted that as of May 11 we have received gifts from various individuals and organizations totaling $204,859.31. Thus, our monetary support for the suffering people of Ukraine has totaled $304,859.31. With our prayers as well, we praise God for the swift, overwhelming and heartfelt generosity of so many!”

Russia’s war on Ukraine is now in its 75th day and there are no signs that the conflict will end soon. Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kyiv-Halych told Catholic News Service on May 6 that Russian military tactics are following "a genocide manual" in which "the entire people must be eliminated" which has caused a “humanitarian catastrophe.” According to the United Nations over 3,300 civilians have been killed in Ukraine and nearly six million Ukrainians have fled to Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Moldova.

The Diocesan Investment and Loan Trust (DILT) was created several decades ago as an investment option for organizations in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany (RCDA). DILT provides grants to individuals and organizations, both Catholic and non-Catholic. It is a separate entity from the RCDA.

 

In a move to address the increasing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, the Diocesan Investment and Loan Trust (DILT) in Albany will make a $50,000 donation to Catholic Relief Services (CRS), which is accepting financial contributions to provide shelter, hot meals, and transportation for Ukrainian refugees seeking to move to safe areas.

In addition, DILT has invited individuals, Catholic parishes, and other faith-based groups in the Capital Region to take part in a Christian challenge to support relief efforts. DILT will match donations up to $50,000, making their potential donation to Ukrainian humanitarian relief $100,000.

“We hope this challenge will encourage everyone in the region to consider sharing their gifts with the people of Ukraine who are in tremendous need of the basic necessities,” said DILT Trustee Father David R. LeFort. “This is an invitation to share Christian charity at a moment when extreme needs are emerging from Eastern Europe on a daily basis.”

To participate in the challenge, checks should be made payable to Catholic Charities and sent to their offices at 40 N. Main Ave., Albany, 12203. “Ukrainian Humanitarian Relief” should be written in the memo line of the check. Catholic Charities will forward the donations to CRS, with DILT matching those donations up to $50,000.

The Diocesan Investment and Loan Trust (DILT) was created several decades ago as an investment option for organizations in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany (RCDA). DILT provides grants to individuals and organizations, both Catholic and non-Catholic. It is a separate entity from the RCDA.