Beloved in Christ:
Greetings to you and your families as we prepare for the beginning of a new Church year.
We have all witnessed with a heavy heart the catastrophic destruction and massive flooding in Southeast Texas (and now Western Louisiana) as a result of Hurricane Harvey. Some of the scenes of suffering have been beyond words. I have been in constant contact with our clergy and the parishes of the area and am waiting for an assessment from them in order to help in any way we can. Although things are still unfolding, we want to be proactive in our appeal to all of you so we can respond as quickly as possible.
As people of God and the Church of Christ, we feel compelled to help our brothers and sisters in need. Therefore, I am asking every parish and mission of the archdiocese to appeal to their faithful and hold special collections throughout the month of September so that we can alleviate a little of the pain and suffering the good people of that area are enduring. Immediately after the last Sunday of September, please send your offerings to the archdiocese and put in the memo of the check “Hurricane Harvey Appeal”. Once we have assessed the needs of our parishes and their faithful who have suffered losses, we will distribute your offerings to them on your behalf.
If there are funds remaining after our distributions to our parishes in need, we will forward them to IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities) to help with their work in that area as they are already on the ground helping all Texans on behalf of the Orthodox Church.
Please be as generous as possible so that we are able to help those in need as much as we can.
Wishing you all a blessed beginning of the new ecclesiastical year and praying that God’s healing hand will touch the people who have suffered as a result of this destructive hurricane,
Your Father in Christ,
Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of all North America