Second collection to help Catholic Charities assist flood victims

BRIGHTON — Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley is requesting pastors throughout the archdiocese to take a second collection on Memorial Day Weekend to assist Catholic Charities with their relief efforts in the Merrimack and North Regions of the archdiocese.

The request, submitted by Father Arthur M. Coyle, interim vicar general of the archdiocese, stresses the need for cash contributions.

“As you may be aware from news coverage, Lowell, Lawrence, Peabody and surrounding cities and towns were significantly impacted. At this time the greatest need is for cash contributions in order to provide people with vouchers for food and rental assistance,” he said.

Catholic Charities announced May 24 that the agency will offer basic needs assistance, specifically emergency food, rental and mortgage assistance, and food vouchers, to those affected by the flooding in the Merrimack Valley.

It is estimated that 3,000 people in the Merrimack Valley have been affected by the flood, which took place in the region one week ago.

Partnering with other responders including the St. Vincent de Paul Society, the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, the Merrimack Valley United Way, the City of Lawrence and the City of Lowell, Merrimack Valley Catholic Charities will provide assistance to meet the emergency short-term needs of flood victims.

“The devastating impact this flood has had on the Merrimack Valley has been widespread,” said Patti Kirwin, director of Merrimack Valley Catholic Charities.

“Our collaborative goal is to help the newly homeless residents of Lowell, Lawrence and Haverhill get the services they need while their homes are being readied for their return,” she said.

Merrimack Valley Catholic Charities is a community service site of Catholic Charities with major locations in Lowell, Lawrence and Haverhill.

For emergency food, Merrimack Valley Catholic Charities operates two food pantries. The Food Pantry of Merrimack Valley is located at 760 Merrimack Street in Lowell, and the Open Hand Food Pantry is located at 16 Ashland Street in Haverhill.

Qualified Lawrence and Haverhill residents are invited to apply for food vouchers and rental and mortgage assistance by contacting Felicita Roman or Ayda Diaz at 978- 685-5930. Qualified Lowell residents may call 978-452-1421.

Donations to help with flood relief may be made by sending a check to Catholic Charities at 75 Kneeland Street, 8th Floor, Boston, MA 02111 Attn: Development Office, by calling 617-451-7952 or online at