Special collection for earthquake victims

BishopSullivanCOA-FINAL-WEB

Bishop Dennis Sullivan is urging parishes to take up a special collection to aid earthquake victims in Kathmandu, Nepal. Following is the April 29 letter he sent to the priests of the Camden Diocese.

 

Dear Monsignor/Father:

 

As you well know, last Sunday morning a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck just 50 miles northwest of the capital, Kathmandu, toppling buildings and homes, causing widespread panic, and claiming more than 5,200 lives. The devastation and toll on human life is still becoming clear as rescue workers access the affected areas and people. The Church throughout the world mourns the terrible suffering of our brothers and sisters affected by this powerful earthquake. The earthquake struck the Kathmandu valley, which is densely populated with nearly 2.5 million people. Tens of thousands of families are sleeping outside in Kathmandu and require shelter and protection from the cold and relentless rain, which has worsened conditions. Aftershocks continue — one reaching 6.7 magnitude and another 5.4 magnitude — increasing fear, causing further damage to buildings, and interrupting rescue operations. Most markets in Kathmandu are closed. People urgently need basic essentials. Shelters, blankets, safe water, food, medical care, hygiene and counseling are priorities. Hygiene and sanitation are critical to preventing waterborne diseases.

Catholic Relief Services has already begun to embark on a major emergency response to this severe disaster and has committed funds to extended relief efforts. CRS is providing 10,000 families (50,000 people) with emergency shelter materials, blankets, water treatment and hygiene kits. Given the scale of the disaster, the agency expects to expand relief activities to additional families. CRS is working with Caritas Nepal to identify the most pressing needs in the hardest hit districts between Kathmandu and Pokhara, and will scale its operations accordingly.

The help of the Catholic community in the United States is desperately needed. I urge you to arrange a special collection in your parish, if possible, this weekend or on May 9/10. The funds will be used to respond to immediate emergency needs for such necessities as water, food, shelter and medical care as well as the long-term needs to rebuild the communities in the regions affected after widespread destruction.

I thank you for your attention to this and ask that you express my gratitude to our parishioners who are always ready to respond in whatever way they can to tragedies such as what we are witnessing in Nepal. The people of this diocese are very generous. May God bless them and you.

Sincerely in Christ,

Most Reverend Dennis J. Sullivan, D.D.

Bishop of Camden

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