As of Sept. 21, more than 70 faith communities within the Diocese of Rochester had raised a total of $436,000 for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, according to Deacon John McDermott, newly named coordinator of the diocesan response to the hurricane.
Less than half of the 150 faith communities in the diocese had reported their individual totals at that time, so Deacon McDermott expected the diocesan total to rise to and easily top $500,000. This money will go to Catholic Charities USA, and the total does not reflect donations parishioners made directly to Catholic Charities and other relief organizations.
The diocese also hopes to form a partnership with the Archdiocese of New Orleans, allowing individual parishes in the Rochester Diocese to partner directly with individual parishes in the archdiocese. In this way, parishioners can effectively focus their efforts, assure accountability and eliminate duplication, Deacon McDermott said.
As coordinator of the diocesan response to Hurricane Katrina, Deacon McDermott helps channel communications between local parishes, local and national Catholic Charities offices and the relief efforts in the Gulf Coast region.