Debris surrounds the remains of the St. Famille du Toirac church in Toirac, Haiti, Aug. 16, 2021. Twenty people were killed when a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit during a funeral Mass at the church. (CNS photo/Laura Gottesdiener, Reuters)

In addition to offering prayers for the people of Haiti, the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, has asked parishes throughout the Diocese of Scranton to take up an emergency special collection for the Caribbean nation on the weekend of September 25/26, 2021.

Haiti experienced a magnitude 7.2 earthquake Aug. 14 that killed more than 2,200 people and injured at least 12,000 others. Nearly 53,000 houses were destroyed, according to local authorities.

Days later, Haiti was also in the path of Tropical Storm Grace that unleashed torrential rains and caused flash flooding that blocked access to communities in need. The country was already reeling from the July 7 assassination of its president, Jovenel Moise, at the time.

Manithe Simon, 68, and his wife, Wisner Desrosier, 67, walk through their collapsed home near Les Cayes, Haiti, Aug. 22, 2021. Days before the 7.2 magnitude earthquake, the couple decided to marry during a service at a nearby church after 44 years together and raising four children. (CNS photo/Henry Romero, Reuters)

The special collection that will take place in the Diocese of Scranton will be used both to support the humanitarian and recovery efforts of Catholic Relief Services and to provide pastoral and rebuilding support to impacted dioceses through the USCCB’s Emergency Disaster Fund.

The money will help those impacted rebuild their lives and also help support the reconstruction needs of parishes, rectories, schools and other Church properties destroyed or severely damaged in Haiti. Parishioners are asked to respond with kind and generous hearts to help our brothers and sisters in need.

Pope Francis has already sent nearly a quarter million dollars to help people in Haiti who are struggling in the afternoon the earthquake and tropical storm. The Vatican’s Dicastery for Integral Human Development said Aug. 24 that the pope sent an “initial contribution” of $235,000 to assist the earthquake victims during this “emergency phase.”