Special hurricane relief collection expanded

BRAINTREE -- A special collection scheduled for this weekend to support the relief efforts related to Hurricane Harvey has now been expanded to also benefit areas affected by Hurricane Irma, as well as other natural disasters that may affect the U.S. this year.

The change to the collection, which will take place the weekend of Sept. 9-10 in all parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston, comes shortly after Hurricane Irma, a category 5 storm, caused devastation to Caribbean islands, Sept. 7. The storm is expected to reach Florida on Sept. 9.

Hurricane Harvey, lasting from Aug. 23 to Sept. 2, also hit Caribbean and Latin America countries, before moving into Texas and Louisiana. The effect of the storm is still being calculated, but, in Texas alone, there have been dozens of confirmed deaths and tens of thousands of people displaced.

Funds collected in this one-time appeal will be used to support the humanitarian and recovery efforts of Catholic Charities USA, the official domestic relief of the U.S. Catholic Church, and will provide pastoral and rebuilding support to dioceses in those areas impacted by natural disasters.

Catholic Charities USA and their member agencies respond to immediate emergency needs for such necessities as shelter, clean water, food, and medical care as well as to the long term need to rebuild and recover after widespread destruction, and to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for pastoral and reconstruction needs of the Church. Dioceses throughout the country will be taking up similar collections during the first two weeks of September and all monies collected will be distributed by the USCCB to Catholic Charities USA.

Parishioners who wish to contribute via check are being asked to make the check payable to the Archdiocese of Boston, with "Hurricane Harvey Collection" in the memo. Checks may be sent to: Attn: Cashier, c/o Hurricane Harvey Collection, Archdiocese of Boston Pastoral Center, 66 Brooks Drive, Braintree, MA 02184-3839.