People using their credit cards for purchases can feel better about their spending with the introduction of a new card that supports mission efforts in poor countries.
Announced Monday by the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the World Missions Visa Card will take a small percentage of everyday purchases and send the money to support Catholic Church programs in more than 1,150 mission dioceses in the world's most destitute nations.
"Throughout the Missions, whether it's at a Catholic orphanage or a rural health clinic, or through outreach to children or adults with HIV/AIDS, Propagation of the Faith support sustains local priests, Sisters and Brothers, and lay catechists who offer concrete help – and hold out the hope of our Lord – to the poor," explained Monsignor John E. Kozar, national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States, in a statement. "With this credit card, Catholics here in our country can be part of our work – in effect missionaries here at home through their prayers and this financial assistance."
The card is offered through Washington Mutual, the bank that co-developed the system with Follieri Capital, which provides financial products and services to Roman Catholic Church organizations in the United States.
With the card, one percent of all purchases will be donated to the Propagation of Faith, which they would use to support the church's evangelizing mission in more than 120 countries throughout Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands and Latin America. It would also help support educational and healthcare efforts. More than 90 percent of the gathered funds by the Propagation of Faith go directly towards mission efforts, according to the group.
"We are very grateful to Washington Mutual and Follieri Capital for introducing this unique opportunity to help the Missions," added Kozar. "We encourage participation in this program whose donations will support the Church's worldwide mission to bring help and hope to the suffering and the poor."
To advertise the card, more than a million U.S. Catholics will be contacted by a direct-mail campaign as well as advertisements in several Catholic newspapers. Promoters hope to expand their effort in the months to come.
According to The Society for the Propagation of the Faith, "Just $10 generated from this program can buy clothing for 10 Catholic school children in the Sudan for a year; $4 buys enough food for one week for a kindergarten program in the Missions where children learn the basics and discover, through the service of local Sisters, the love of Jesus."
Besides aiding Catholic mission efforts, World Mission Visa cardholders also have many benefits, including full platinum privileges, coupons, online payment options, zero fraud liability, and no annual fee.
On the web: Information on how to apply.