Jubilee Debt Relief Program

Solidarity and Subsidiarity are two bedrock principles of Catholic Social Teaching, and yet direct financial assistance to fellow Catholics has fallen to the wayside. We support our parishes and organizations that protect the unborn and those who are unable to provide for their own basic needs, but little is done to address one of the most vicious plagues on our families: debt.

The Jubilee Debt Relief program offers Catholics with significant personal debt a second chance. Credit card debt and personal loans are financial burdens that many Catholics struggle to overcome.

Many families have found themselves in this vicious circle with no good way out. The Jubilee Debt Relief program aims to help these families through a 3-step process:

1) Assessment of the family or individual’s financial need and commitment to their parish and to the Church.

2) Required education on household budgeting and methods to avoid this situation in the future.

3) Relief from high interest credit card and personal loan debt.

If you would like to make a financial contribution or apply for assistance, please see the links below!

How to Apply

If you are interested in applying for assistance, please carefully read the information below, then click here to fill out our initial contact form. We will need some basic information to begin the process.

Recipients must be:
1) Faithful Catholics who assent to the teachings of the Church
2) In serious need of financial help with personal debt (i.e. credit cards or personal loans) with annual interest rates greater than 10%
3) Willing to complete financial education designed to put you on the path to financial health for the long term

You will need:
1) A letter from your priest confirming your demonstrated commitment to the Church’s teachings and to the support of your parish with your time and/or talent
2) Reliable access to a computer or smartphone and internet

The Jubilee Debt Relief Program is designed to give Catholics a second chance at financial health in an age of usury and anti-family economic policy. In the spirit of Biblical Jubilee, this program is intended as a one-time relief program to help Catholic families get back on their feet and not meant as an ongoing monetary assistance program. However, the Jubilee program will provide lifetime budgeting and financial education to help relieved Catholic families stay on their feet.

We hope and encourage that recipients will go one to continue to support the program spiritually (through prayer), communally (through evangelization and getting the word out to other suffering Catholics and potential donors), and monetarily if they eventually have the means post-relief.

How to Contribute

The Jubilee Debt Relief Program cannot exist without the generous support of donors. As Catholics, we know that true charity is willing the good of another. Those who have the means to help their fellow Catholics with temporal needs are bound by the social teaching of the Church to provide such help. The Jubilee Debt Relief Program exists to facilitate compliance with this teaching.

If you would like to contribute financially, please click here. If you would like more information or to speak to someone about any questions or concerns you have, please click here.

We wholeheartedly welcome spiritual support as well! Some suggestions include clergy praying, offering penance, offering Masses for the success of this initiative, and to let their parishioners know about the program. Laypeople can support us spiritually by offering penances, praying the Rosary, and helping to inform others about the program.

 

Some frequently asked questions:

Will I be paid back? – No. The Leonine Institute for Catholic Social Teaching is not a financial intermediary and so cannot function in this way. We are not making loans; we are relieving debt.

Can recipients apply for relief more than once? – No. Recipients must complete household budgeting education through the program and are barred from applying for relief more than once. We believe this is a solid incentive to truly make a permanent financial change for the better in the lives of our fellow Catholics.

Are past recipients encouraged to donate? – Yes! As part of their household budgeting education, we discuss the importance of contributions to their parish and to other Catholic causes once they are back on their financial feet.