WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has requested that dioceses across the country take up an emergency collection on behalf of those devastated by Hurricane Florence, as well as any forthcoming natural disasters this year.
In a letter sent to bishops last week, Cardinal DiNardo wrote, in part:
“The traditional storm season has only just begun and already we have witnessed the devastating impact of Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas. Five days after land-fall, torrential rain was still falling, and catastrophic flooding is predicted. Already, thousands of homes, businesses, and churches have been severely damaged or destroyed.”
“We offer our prayers to families who have lost loved ones or are among those injured. As is often the case, the poor are the hardest hit by these conditions, but many will have immense unmet needs. Staff of our Office for National Collections has been in touch with several bishops to learn about their situations and to offer our prayers and our desire to be of assistance in this time of need.
“Given the patterns of recent years, it is reasonable to expect much more unpredictable weather and an increasing number of natural disasters. Therefore, I suggest we take up a special collection for the humanitarian, long-term recovery, and Church needs arising from these storms. In anticipation of more disasters awaiting us this year, I ask that we make a special appeal for the ongoing disasters of 2018 and that we each take up the collection as soon as possible so that those most in need can receive assistance quickly.”
Funds will be used in response to Hurricane Florence and any other natural disasters that occur this year. Initially, funds will be used to support the efforts of Catholic Charities USA as they reach out to provide humanitarian aid in the form of water, food, shelter, and medical care, as well as to their long-term efforts to restore communities after widespread destruction. Also, funds will go to support the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ efforts to assist with pastoral and reconstruction aid to the Church. Humanitarian funds for any future disasters impacting communities outside the US may be shared with Catholic Relief Services for their response efforts.
More information about the Office of National Collections and its support of emergency relief efforts can be found at http://www.usccb.org/about/national-collections/index.cfm.