Bishop Richard Pates is asking all parishes in the Diocese of Des Moines to have a special collection one of the next three weekends for disaster relief in Nepal following the April 25 7.8-magnitude earthquake and aftershocks that shook the nation.
"Pictures of the devastation caused by the earthquake and multiple aftershocks in Nepal are heartbreaking,” he said. “The death toll is rising each day and the suffering of our brothers and sisters affected by the earthquake is overwhelming.”
Tens of thousands of people need shelter and protection from the cold. Sapana Sharma, a Catholic Charities staff member from Council Bluffs, is visiting her family in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capitol. She said her family was not injured but they are staying outside because of concerns that their home is not safe. Markets are closed, leaving people without basic essentials.
To help the people of Nepal, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is asking dioceses across the country to have a special collection in support of emergency and rebuilding needs in Nepal. All funds collected will go to the bishops’ conference, which will send the funds to Catholic Relief Services.
“Catholic Relief Services has already begun to embark on a major emergency response to this disaster and will put your donations to work for extended relief efforts,” wrote Bishop Pates.
In addition to generous monetary contributions, Bishop Pates encourages prayerful support for the people of Nepal. “May God bless them with the strength and fortitude to face the difficult tasks ahead of rebuilding lives and communities.”
To make a gift online, go to the diocesan website and click on Giving, then Nepal Disaster Relief.