Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We have been hearing and reading heartbreaking accounts of people fleeing their home country, contending with immense wildfires, and suffering the devastating effects of hurricanes, floods and earthquakes. Hurricane Ida and the recent earthquake in Haiti, with which the United
States has a close, long-term relationship, have garnered a lot of attention and concern. The earthquake was followed by a tropical storm, which added devastation to an already reeling population due to the earthquake (and the 2010 earthquake). As a result of these disasters, many Church properties, along with homes and businesses, have been severely damaged or destroyed. The impact will be long-lasting. Some of you have called and written asking what you can do to help.
I recently received a request from Most Rev. Jose H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), encouraging dioceses to take up a voluntary special collection for the humanitarian, long-term recovery, and significant Church needs arising from these calamities. The funds collected in this special appeal will become part of the Bishops Emergency Disaster Fund and will be used to support the USCCB for pastoral and reconstruction needs of the Church as well as the efforts of Catholic Relief Services and/or Catholic Charities USA, the official relief agencies of the U.S. Catholic Church, as they and their local agencies respond to immediate emergency needs and aid in long-term rebuilding and recovery efforts.
I request that you give thoughtful consideration to supporting this voluntary special collection on the weekend of Sept. 18. Donations can be made payable to the Diocese of Davenport, supporting the Bishops Emergency Disaster Fund. Thank you.
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Rev. Thomas R. Zinkula
Bishop of Davenport