The devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey has been shocking, sad and sobering. Archbishop Jose’ H. Gomez, Vice President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, on behalf of Cardinal Daniel H. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops whose Archdiocese is of course directly affected, has asked that a special collection be taken to support the relief efforts made in response to this tragedy. Funds raised will be used to support humanitarian and recovery efforts of Catholic Charities USA and to provide pastoral and rebuilding support to impacted dioceses through the USCCB. Through these agencies we can be sure that the contributions will be used prudently and with minimum administrative overhead.
Therefore, I authorize and encourage this special collection be taken in the parishes of our diocese either this coming weekend (September 2-3) or at another time selected by pastors as local circumstances advise. Monies collected should be sent to the Diocesan Finance Office which will transfer them in full to the USCCB.
It is in the midst of such storms we must humbly admit how small we are and how dependent we are on God’s love and mercy to weather them. As we view the images of wind damage and flooding of epic proportions and as we reflect on the lives lost or injured, the homes that have been destroyed or damaged, the lives impacted so dramatically, the infrastructure weakened or wiped away, and the economic dislocation that will last for many years, let us hold in prayer our brothers and sisters in need. Let us also pray with gratitude to the responders and volunteers who under uncertain conditions have been reaching out to their neighbors in these dire circumstances often at personal risk.
Thank you for your generosity in treasure and in prayer.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patron of the Americas, watch over, console and give hope to all affected.