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August 29, 2017

Bishop encourages donations to Catholic Charities USA for hurricane relief

REGIONAL
Staff report

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Texas National Guard soldiers assist citizens Aug. 27 during rescue operations in flooded areas around Houston, Texas. (CNS photo/courtesy Texas Military Department via Reuters) 

 

SPRINGFIELD – In response to the ongoing needs of those affected by Hurricane Harvey, Springfield Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski today issued a statement urging parishioners throughout the Springfield Diocese to send monetary donations to Catholic Charities USA, either online or through the diocese or parishes.

The full text of the bishop’s statement follows:

“This past weekend, the people on the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast region suffered tremendous devastation as a result of Hurricane Harvey. Even as I write this, the impact is still being felt through record torrential rain fall. The cleanup from this storm will take years and will be a tremendous challenge for many of the residents. 

Residents wade through floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey Aug. 28 in Beaumont Place, Texas. (CNS photo/Jonathan Bachman, Reuters) 

“As always, Catholic Charities USA stands ready to assist those whose lives have been adversely impacted, both in the short term and over the many years it will certainly take to realize full recovery.

“The Catholic community of western Massachusetts has always responded to these tragic situations with great generosity, and I hope we can be counted upon once again.

“To lend your support we’ve put a direct link to Catholic Charities USA, Hurricane Harvey relief efforts on our diocesan website, www.diospringfield.org. This is the best, fastest and most direct way to get help to this region.  

“You may also donate through area Catholic parishes or our diocesan office, Diocese of Springfield/Hurricane Harvey, PO Box 1730, Springfield, MA 01102-1730; please make checks payable directly to Catholic Charities USA with Hurricane Harvey in the memo line. We will ensure all checks are forwarded to Catholic Charities USA.

“Most importantly, whether you are in a position to donate or not, please keep those impacted foremost in your thoughts and prayers.”

Emergency special collection

On the national level, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, vice-president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has called on the bishops to consider taking up a special collection to support victims of Hurricane Harvey and to provide pastoral and rebuilding support to impacted dioceses.

In an Aug. 28 letter, Archbishop Gomez requested that the collection be held during the weekend of Sept. 2-3 or Sept. 9-10.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the families that have lost loved ones and to all who have lost homes and businesses along with their sense of peace and normalcy,” said Archbishop Gomez. “We also stand with our brother bishops in the region who have the difficult task of providing pastoral care in these most trying times while managing their own losses. Our prayerful and financial support is urgently needed.”

Tim Freiberg walks through debris of his destroyed garage Aug. 26 after Hurricane Harvey struck Rockport, Texas. (CNS photo/Rick Wilking, Reuters) 

Funds given to the collection will support the humanitarian and recovery efforts of Catholic Charities USA and will provide pastoral and rebuilding support to impacted dioceses through the USCCB. The hurricane has affected southeast Texas, including the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, and could also strike Louisiana. As a result, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of USSCB, has asked Archbishop Gomez to coordinate this effort.

“Together with Cardinal DiNardo and the bishops throughout the affected region, I express deep gratitude to the first responders and countless volunteers who are assisting the Gulf Coast region in countless ways,” Archbishop Gomez said.

This collection is to be taken on the weekend alternate to the CUA Collection.