Province Launches Puerto Rico Relief Fund

Jocelyn Thomas In the Headlines

Flooded area in Carolina, Puerto Rico, after the path of Hurricane Maria in the island. (Photo courtesy of Sgt. Jose Ahiram Diaz-Ramos/U.S. Department of Agriculture)

It has been more than two weeks since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, and most of the island still has no electrical power and little phone service. Millions of people are suffering from the most powerful storm to hit the island in nearly a century that ravaged the U.S. territory on Sept. 20.

To help the residents of Puerto Rico – a people with whom the friars have a strong connection – Holy Name Province has established a relief fund, that began on the feast of St. Francis and will conclude later this month on Oct. 22.

Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, announced the initiative in a Sept. 29 letter to friars, in which he wrote, “over the past week, I have been able to text-message our brother Roberto Gonzales, OFM – the archbishop of San Juan. Thankfully, Roberto and our brother Alfonso Guzman, OFM, are safe and unharmed. However, as you can imagine, they find themselves in the midst of an unfolding disaster of epic proportions. The infrastructure of the island has been seriously compromised and they along with all the people of Puerto Rico are struggling to survive.”

Because of this, the need in Puerto Rico is immediate, Kevin said.

The Province’s drive for funds will be open until Oct. 22. Checks and donations of cash can be sent to Holy Name Province – Office of Development, 144 West 32nd Street, New York, New York 10001. All funds should be designated in the check memo for “Relief Fund for Puerto Rico.” Checks should be made payable to the Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province.

“Holy Name Province has a unique connection to the people of Puerto Rico through Roberto, Alfonso, and others friars in our history who have served the people on the island,” said Kevin. “In addition, many of our fraternities and ministries serve people who have direct ties to family and friends in Puerto Rico.”

In his letter, Kevin asked each fraternity and ministry of the Province to raise funds in whatever way it can in order to assist the people of Puerto Rico.

“Roberto has assured me that his office will be able to process all the funds that we raise,” said Kevin.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to help people whose lives have been devastated by Hurricane Maria,” said David Convertino, OFM, the Province’s executive director of development. “It’s difficult to imagine what their lives are like now.”

The friars ask for continued prayers for all who have been affected by the recent hurricanes.

Jocelyn Thomas is director of communication for Holy Name Province.

Related Links