FALL RIVER — In response to a request from U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ President Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, parishes in the Fall River Diocese will take up a special collection to provide humanitarian relief and pastoral support for suffering Christians and other innocent victims of the violence in the Middle East.
The collection will be taken at Masses on the weekend of September 20-21 or another weekend convenient to the parish.
Proceeds from the collection will be used by Catholic Relief Services and other Catholic agencies working in partnership with the local Church to meet the most urgent humanitarian needs facing the people in Iraq, Gaza, Syria and surrounding countries where refugees have fled. These organizations have well-established partnerships with the Catholic Church in the region which allow them to respond quickly and efficiently to victims in some of the hardest to reach areas. Collection funds will also be used to support Church programs to aid persecuted Christians and to respond to rebuilding needs of Catholic dioceses in the impacted areas.
In his letter to bishops across the country, Archbishop Kurtz writes, “Our Church mourns the terrible suffering of Christians and other innocent victims of violence in Iraq, Syria and Gaza who are struggling to survive, protect their children and live with dignity in dire conditions. Given the extraordinary nature of this crisis, I am asking you to consider taking up a special collection to provide humanitarian relief and pastoral support for our affected brothers and sisters in the Middle East.”
He concluded with his gratitude for support of the special collection and for continued prayers for the victims of the crisis in the Middle East.