Parishioners Reach Out to Those in Need

September 05, 2005

Throughout the Archdiocese of Washington, Catholic parishioners, young and old, are reaching out to help those in need: special collections are being taken in every parish during September; youth groups and schools are raising money for aid, sometimes a penny at a time; Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington is registering parishioners offering to aid refugees coming into the Washington, DC metropolitan area with housing, food, clothes and more; and area Catholic schools are opening their doors to children who have been displaced.

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington, called upon all parishes to hold a special collection this month and to welcome Catholic school students who have been forced to relocate, waiving tuition for those in financial need.

“We have all witnessed the tremendous damage and devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina upon our brothers and sisters in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama,” Cardinal McCarrick said.

“Our hearts go out to them and we unite with them in their terrible suffering. At this time of such great need, I ask each of us to keep these our brothers and sisters close to us in prayer, and to be as generous as possible in aiding those who have gone through this terrible experience. The road ahead is a long and difficult one as so many struggle with the loss of their loved ones, their homes and all that they knew. May we walk with them during this journey, helping them to heal and rebuild their lives as best as can be done,” he continued.

To date, at least 31 students from the devastated areas have enrolled in Catholic schools within the Archdiocese of Washington; more are expected. In addition, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington is coordinating resettlement efforts for the Archdiocese and has set up a dedicated phone line, 202-772-1212, for parishes and parishioners to register available housing (the most critical need is empty apartments that would be available at no cost for at least 90 days), volunteer services or donation offers. The agency will work with families and individuals coming into the region with both immediate and long-term assistance.

Susan Gibbs
Director of Communications
[email protected]