By Carrie Bradon
The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is calling for a collection campaign to aid relief efforts for the numerous natural disasters in the nation.
Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles is requesting that the country’s bishops collect donations for both recovery purposes and the Church’s necessities in the wake of Hurricane Laura and the California wildfires, a release issued on the USCCB website said.
“Thousands of homes, businesses and churches have been severely damaged or destroyed, and the impacts will be long-lasting,” Gomez said in a letter to bishops, excerpts of which were published in the release. “We offer our prayers to families who have lost loved ones, homes and businesses.”
The funding that is raised through the donations will be put into the Bishops Emergency Disaster Fund and will be able to be used alongside the efforts of Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Relief Services.
“Funds will be used in response to Hurricane Laura and any other disasters that occur and will be distributed where they are most needed,” the archbishop said. “However, if such purpose(s) become unnecessary, impractical or impossible to fill, USCCB may use such contributions for other emergency disaster relief where it is most needed as determined by the Committee on National Collections using its emergency response protocol.”
As the storm season is still in its early stages, Gomez voiced concerns about the degree of help that will be required this year.
Though the ravages of COVID-19 continue, the archbishop did not mention a fundraiser for those needs. Rather, he is hopeful that the faithful will make the necessary sacrifices to ensure those in need are given the support required, both on the individual and parish levels.
Additional information regarding the disaster relief collection campaign can be accessed online at usccb.org/committees/national-collections.