News of the death and destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew here in North Carolina is saddening. As rivers continue to rise, more damage and more need for relief efforts in the coming days is expected.

Given the magnitude of this disaster and the need for a timely response, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge has asked that parishes take up a special collection for Hurricane Matthew relief efforts, to be used here in eastern North Carolina.

The requested dates for the collection is October 15 and 16, 2016, or as close to it as is feasible for each respective parish.

The funds will be used by Catholic Charities, which will provide immediate assistance in the form of food cards and other direct services such as housing needs. Catholic Charities will also provide long-term relief and case management for those who are not able to receive insurance proceeds or government assistance.

Bishop Burbidge calls people to join him in prayer for: all those who have lost lives; those who have sustained injuries; their family members; all who have been so severely impacted by this disaster; and first responders and others helping those in most need at this time.