Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, vice-president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has requested that all U.S. bishops consider taking up a special collection in support of the dioceses affected by Hurricane Harvey.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the families that have lost loved ones and to all who have lost homes and businesses along with their sense of peace and normalcy,” said Gomez.
“We also stand with our brother bishops in the region who have the difficult task of providing pastoral care in these most trying times while managing their own losses. Our prayerful and financial support is urgently needed,” he said.
Archbishop Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston serves as President of the USCCB and in an interview on Crux’s weekly radio show on Monday, DiNardo said he did not feel comfortable asking for money for his own diocese, a likely reason for Gomez’s request on his behalf.
“The bishops’ conference in general, when you have these major disasters, has a collections committee chair, as well as the chairs that deal with local development,” he said.
“They’ll work on it, and reach a conclusion about what can be done, and what the national church and dioceses might do.”
The collections will take place during masses on the weekends of September 1-2 or September 8-9.
Hurricane Harvey swept through the Gulf Coast region of Texas and made landfall late last Friday evening. To date there have been at least ten related deaths, 30,000 displaced victims seeking shelter at local evacuation centers, and over 50,000 others that have evacuated the area. Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States.
“The people in Houston come from every nation, race and tongue, they’re deeply devoted, and also devoted to their community,” DiNardo told Crux on Monday.
“The people of Houston, I have to say, are rather resilient, but this is really stretching them.”