Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ:

Once again, we are faced with a season of terrible devastation wrought by storms around our country.  Specifically, Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael are two major storms so far this year which have caused millions of dollars’ worth of damage to those living in the southeastern states.  Many have lost homes, businesses or places of worship as a result of the storm winds, debris, torrential rain and catastrophic flooding.

We offer our prayers to families who have lost loved ones or are among those injured.  As so often occurs, the poorest communities are hit hardest by these conditions, and will have the least recourse to address their losses.  As a result, the bishops of the United States have agreed to take up a special collection for the humanitarian, long-term recovery and Church needs arising from the storms and other natural disasters in 2018.  In the Diocese of Joliet, I am asking for parishes to hold this special collection during the weekend of November 4, so as not to conflict with the collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development on November 17-18, 2018.

The funds collected in this special appeal for the 2018 Disasters will be used to support the efforts of Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Relief Services, the official relief agencies of the U.S. Catholic Church at home and abroad.  These funds will allow their local agencies to respond to immediate emergency needs for food, water, shelter and medical care in these communities, and aid in long-term rebuilding and recovery efforts.  Specifically, these contributions will be focused in response to Hurricane Florence, Hurricane Michael and other disasters during this year.

I thank you all for your cooperation and prayers.

Most Reverend R. Daniel Conlon, Bishop of Joliet