Parishes to hold special collection for pandemic response in India, Brazil

BRAINTREE -- Given the "immense suffering and loss of life" in India and Brazil, caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the archdiocese is asking parishes to take up an "Emergency COVID special collection" to support Church relief efforts in those two countries. The archdiocese has suggested holding the collection during Masses of May 29-30 or June 5-6.

The request came in a May 13 letter to pastors from Father William P. Joy, assistant vicar for administration, on behalf of Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley.

"As you may know, there is immense suffering and loss of life occurring in India and Brazil due to the pandemic. The Catholic Church, through Catholic Relief Services (CRS), is on the ground in those countries working to support local hospitals and programs which are being overwhelmed and which have reached a breaking point," Father Joy said in his letter.

"Given our own experience in the United States with regards to the pandemic and the important role the Church has in being able to respond to global events, we have an opportunity to assist relief efforts in India and Brazil," he added.

The letter cited some of those countries' coronavirus statistics, showing the "enormous" size and scope of the crisis. India has had over 24 million reported cases of COVID-19 and over 260,000 deaths. Meanwhile, Brazil has had over 15 million cases and over 428,000 deaths.