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Parishes in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh will take up a special collection on the weekend of September 16-17 to assist the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

The effort is part of a nationwide collection sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The funds will support relief and reconstruction efforts that benefit everyone harmed by the hurricane as well as Catholic churches that were damaged or are providing ministry in the flood zone. Donations will go to Catholic Charities USA to provide shelter, clean water, food and medical care, and to underwrite long term recovery and rebuilding. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will also distribute some funds to affected parishes for pastoral ministry and reconstruction.

Father Lawrence DiNardo, vicar general and general secretary of the diocese, informed all clergy in a letter on August 29.

“The faithful are asked to be as generous as possible to our suffering brothers and sisters,” he wrote.

Checks should be made out to “Diocese of Pittsburgh,” with “Hurricane Harvey” in the memo line.

Father DiNardo also included two short prayers for the Hurricane victims that can be used at Mass:

“For our sisters and brothers in Texas who experienced the damages brought about by Hurricane Harvey, that they may experience the generosity of others as they begin their recovery. Let us pray to the Lord.”

“That the people who experienced the devastation brought about by Hurricane Harvey may find in their peril an occasion to praise God for the support he has given them through others. Let us pray to the Lord.”