STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Cardinal Timothy Dolan is expected to make his third visit to Staten Island Saturday, in the wake of an announcement that the Archdiocese of New York will distribute at least $2 million in assistance to the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
About $1 million was raised through parish collections and the archdiocese previously revealed that the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation and the Cardinal's Appeal each had dedicated $500,000 to the relief efforts, bringing the total to $2 million.
The money from the collections will go to the Catholic Charities Sandy Relief Fund, which will distribute the monies to pastors in Staten Island, Manhattan and other areas pummeled by Sandy. The pastors will provide immediate help to about 1,000 families and individuals in need. The final tally from the collection baskets probably will be higher, noted Joseph Zwilling, a spokesman for the archdiocese.
"The $1 million from the collection is to address people's immediate needs," Zwilling said. "The other (funds) will be used for long-term needs."
The Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation has donated money to the Catholic Charities Sandy Relief Fund, to the parishes that were damaged by the storm, and to other agencies. A committee of pastors from those sections of the archdiocese affected by Sandy has been overseeing these relief efforts, and will meet after Thanksgiving to begin to assess long-term needs.
The priests from Staten Island who will serve on the board are Monsignor Peter Finn of Blessed Sacrament R.C. Church, his co-vicar, Monsignor James Dorney of St. Peter's R.C. Church, Monsignor Thomas Bergin of St. Charles R.C. Church who is chairman of the Staten Island Catholic Schools Board, and two pastors in the hardest hit areas of Staten Island, Father Robert Aufieri of Holy Rosary R.C. Church in South Beach and Father Erno Diaz of St. Margaret Mary R.C. Church in Midland Beach.
"It is truly inspiring to see how so many people, particularly in our parishes and communities, rose to the occasion to help others," Cardinal Dolan said.
"We know that it will take time for people to be able to put all of the pieces of their lives back together, but the Church -- our parishes, Catholic Charities, the Al Smith Foundation, and so many dedicated volunteers -- will be there with them every step of the way. I am particularly grateful to those who contributed to our Sandy relief fund, because that will enable us to provide direct assistance to those who need it most right now."
On Saturday, Cardinal Dolan is expected to visit two Catholic Charities/FEMA sites, the Mount Manresa Retreat House in Fort Wadsworth and the NYC Restoration Center in Dongan Hills, and the Mission Church of Holy Rosary on Sand Lane in the badly damaged South Beach neighborhood.
His eminence will cap his visit by celebrating a previously scheduled anniversary mass at Immaculate Conception R.C. Church in Stapleton at 5:30 p.m.
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