Diocese Sends Help to Bahamas
Thanks to ‘Your Generosity’
September 26, 2019
DIOCESE— The Diocese of Rockford is sending emergency assistance to the Archdiocese of Nassau to assist those devastated by the prolonged landfall of Hurricane Dorian, Sept. 1-3. The official death toll stands at 50 with hundreds or more still officially listed as missing. 
 
The Nassau Archdiocese reports that it has lost at least two Catholic schools and one parish as a result of Dorian. Tens of thousands of residents have been displaced or lost their homes. 
 
If you want to give more
 
Additional donations to Hurricane Relief efforts can be made at https://support.crs.org/donate/hurricane-dorian and to Catholic Charities USA at https://app.mobilecause.com/form/RTKRvQ?vid=1snqm.
The contribution from the Diocese of Rockford comes from the International Appeal Combined Collection taken up in diocesan parishes each March. One of the options for donors to the collection is to contribute to the Worldwide and U.S. Disaster Relief Fund. 
 
As the brochure says, “Whenever a natural disaster occurs and/or a significant need exists, Most Rev. David J. Malloy receives numerous petitions for financial assistance from the affected areas, the USCCB, or from news reports from natural disasters.” With the creation of this fund, Bishop Malloy has resources available to respond quickly on behalf of the people of the Rockford Diocese. 
 
“The USCCB has not asked for a special collection for this disaster, but through your generosity, the Diocese of Rockford will be making a donation of $25,000 from these funds,” said Jodi Rippon, CPA,  Director of Finance and Administration. 
 
The donation was announced by the Office of Charitiable Giving on Sept. 23 following a fact-finding mission to Nassau Sept. 16-17 by Peter Routsis-Arroyo, director of Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of Miami. He traveled to Nassau with Father Roberto Garza, who chairs the board of directors of Catholic Charities, and Marco Greenslade, Catholic Charities director of finance, who is a native of the Bahamas and reportedly lost an uncle during the hurricane. Routsis-Arroyo and Archbishop Patrick C. Pinder of Nassau agreed that specific material assistance be shipped to both Freeport on Grand Bahama Island and the capital city, Nassau, on New Providence Island.
 
The aid will be used for both emerging evacuee shelter needs there and for shipping onto the hard-hit Abaco Islands as that becomes more feasible.
 
The effort will be supported by the Miami archdiocesan special collection while the South Florida-based Cross Catholic Outreach will facilitate most of the shipping at this time, according to Routsis-Arroyo.
 
Personal hygiene kits, emergency meals and power generators are among the first items to be shipped as early as this weekend.
 
“Our collection frees us up to ship supplies and helping Archbishop Pinder make some strategic decisions,” Routsis-Arroyo said, adding that he planned to notify the six other Catholic Charities agencies in Florida, inviting them to join the effort if they choose to do so.
 
Meanwhile, a multifaceted Church-sponsored relief effort is just getting underway in the Bahamas — with support from Caritas International, Catholic Relief Services and Catholic Charities USA, which Routsis-Arroyo said also has provided some grant money to support temporary evacuees coming to Florida.