FALL RIVER — Parishes in the Diocese of Fall River have been invited to join together to offer financial support along with their prayers for all those affected by the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
As an expression of solidarity with the suffering people in those countries, Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., is asking parishes to consider having a special collection during Masses the weekends of February 25-26 and March 4-5. All proceeds of these collections will go towards assisting those impacted by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
The request for a special collection was announced to priests in a February 21, 2023, communication from Father David C. Frederici, who is Vicar General for the Diocese of Fall River.
The latest estimates indicate that to date, over 40,000 people have been killed by the magnitude 7.8 earthquake, tens of thousands injured and millions left homeless and struggling to survive, especially in war-torn Syria, where international aid has been slow to arrive due to sanctions and the ongoing conflict in the country.
Father Frederici noted that Pope Francis has issued an appeal for help for those impacted by the earthquake, sharing a portion of the Holy Father’s recent message of concern for them: “With emotion I pray for them, and express my closeness to these peoples, the families of the victims and to all those who are suffering from this devastating calamity.”
Father Frederici also expressed the gratitude of Bishop da Cunha “to the parishes of the Diocese for their expression of solidarity with those who are suffering” through their support of previous other special collections for relief efforts.
“Our Diocese has a long track record of stepping up in response to natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis to help people all over the world recover and rebuild,” he said.