Collection to Assist Hurricane Victims
October 20, 2022
DIOCESE—In early October, Vicar General Msgr. Glenn Nelson sent a letter to parish pastors and parochial administrators of the Diocese of Rockford requesting a special collection in the wake of Hurricane Ian.
His memo on behalf of Bishop David Malloy was sent in response to a request from Archbishop Jose Gomez, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
“As a result of Hurricane Ian’s havoc — first across Cuba and the Dominican Republic and then the southeast U.S. starting in Florida — lives have been lost and many Church properties, along with homes and businesses, have been severely damaged or destroyed,” Archbishop Gomez began. “To respond as a unified Church, I suggest we take up a voluntary special collection for the humanitarian, long-term recovery, and significant Church needs arising from these calamities.”
To that end, Bishop Malloy is asking that “every parish in the Diocese of Rockford take up a second, special collection exclusively for these needs.”
That special collection is planned for the weekend of Oct. 22-23. Two other special collections were already in place — the Oct. 15-16 annual Mission Appeal (which is the final combined collection for 2022) and the Nov. 5-6 Archdiocese for the Military Services Collection (which is held once every three years).
Each parish will gather the hurricane relief donations, then send one check from the parish to the diocese noting it is for the “Hurricane Ian Collection 2022.” The total amount from all the parishes will be sent as a diocesan effort to the USCCB Bishops Emergency Disaster Fund. That fund will be used to support pastoral and reconstruction needs of the Church as well as the efforts of Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Relief Services, the official relief agencies of the U.S. Catholic Church.
“Our partners at Catholic Charities USA, along with their local agencies, are hard at work providing humanitarian relief and will be with communities (impacted by the hurricane) over their extended recovery,” Archbishop Gomez noted. “Likewise, Catholic Relief Services and its local partners are responding with food, water, and sanitation assistance, and will eventually assist with the repair and rebuilding of homes. The chairman of our Committee on National Collections has been in contact with many of the bishops in impacted dioceses to receive information on their needs and offer support.”
Bishop Malloy asked that the following paragraph be part of any communications about this special Hurricane Ian collection:
“The funds collected in this special appeal will become part of the Bishops Emergency Disaster Fund and will be used to support the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for pastoral and reconstructive needs of the Church as well as the efforts of Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Relief Services, the official relief agencies of the U.S. Catholic Church, as they and their local agencies/partners respond to immediate emergency needs and aid in long-term rebuilding and recovery efforts. Funds will be used in response to the hurricanes and the impact of subsequent flooding and tornadoes and any other disasters that occur and will be distributed where they are most needed. 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.”
Bishop Malloy ended his note to pastors by saying, “God bless you and your people for your generosity.”
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