10-November-2012 -- EWTNews Feature |

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Hurricane Sandy victims need your generosity, Archbishop Chaput tells faithful

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia is urging his flock to demonstrate their Catholic faith by giving generously to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

"A Christian community - a community of believers in Jesus Christ; a community of his disciples - defines itself by the generosity of its people," he wrote in his Nov. 8 column for CatholicPhilly.com.

"Catholics in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania have again and again shown their willingness to help other people in need, and especially the victims of disaster," the archbishop said, directing people to Catholic Charities as the best place to donate.

Ken Gavin, associate communications director at the Philadelphia archdiocese, told EWTN News on Nov. 8 that the main issue was loss of power, "and that would have been largely in Montgomery and Bucks Counties (north of Philadelphia), and some property damage with wind, but by and large Pennsylvania was spared the devastation that took place in New Jersey and New York."

"Folks still have needs in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia itself because of the storm that came through, so we're trying to focus on working with Catholic Social Services locally to help out our folks in the area ... and also to contribute to the relief services through Catholic Charities USA for New Jersey and New York," Gavin said.

Archbishop Chaput noted that the devastation and suffering of Sandy "will be with us for a very long time." He said the experience of hurricanes is a new one to him, having served until now as a bishop in South Dakota and Colorado, where hurricanes "seemed part of another America."

While many families in the Philadelphia archdiocese lost power, heat, and water, the brunt of the storm in the U.S. fell on New York and New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy's Oct. 29 landfall killed over 110 people in the U.S. and caused more than $50 billion in damage. The storm left millions without power, and crippled transportation. The megastorm killed at least 67 in the Caribbean before hitting New Jersey.

Catholic Charities affiliates in the region have opened disaster aid distribution points and emergency shelters.

New York and New Jersey were hit again with a winter storm on Nov. 8, which has left as much as 13 inches of snow in some places.

Archbishop Chaput is inviting all parishes in the Philadelphia archdiocese, at the discretion of pastors, to take up a second collection for Sandy relief efforts on Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 24-25.

The funds collected will be used by Catholic Social Services of the Philadelphia archdiocese to assist victims of Sandy in the archdiocese as well as in other dioceses.

Read more: http://www.ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/US.php?id=6514#ixzz2C1zDkjy0

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