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Bishop sets special collections across LI for Harvey victims

Bishop John Barres conducts Easter Mass at St.

Bishop John Barres conducts Easter Mass at St. Agnes Cathedral on April 16, 2017. Credit: Howard Schnapp

The Diocese of Rockville Centre is taking up special collections at its 134 parishes to help those suffering from the devastation of Tropical Storm Harvey.

The collections will take place this Saturday and Sunday, and Sept. 16-17, the diocese said Tuesday.

“We join in prayer and solidarity with all those who have been and continue to be impacted by Hurricane Harvey,” said Bishop John Barres, spiritual leader of Long Island’s 1.5 million Catholics.

“We also ask the parishioners of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, still feeling the effects of superstorm Sandy, if they are able, to help our brothers and sisters in Christ down south,” Barres said.

Parishioners are asked to contact their local parish or to send a donation to the Finance Office, Diocese of Rockville Centre, P.O. Box 9023, Rockville Centre, NY 11571-9023.

Checks should be made out to the Diocese of Rockville Centre. “Hurricane Harvey” should be marked in the memo section of the check. For more information, the diocese said people can call 516-678-5800, ext. 622.

Other religious leaders also were organizing relief efforts.

The Islamic Center of Long Island in Westbury, one of the largest mosques in the region, is urging members to donate money to the Red Cross or other reputable relief organizations, or bring in supplies such as blankets that can be shipped to Texas, said Dr. Isma Chaudhry, president of the mosque.

“Our community is totally mobilized to help,” she said.

The largest Hindu temple on Long Island, the BAPS temple in Melville, is taking part in a national fundraising effort, said spokesman Samir Bhatt.

India-based BAPS, which stands for Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, has temples in Houston and Dallas, and although they were not damaged, the natural disaster “hits close to home for us,” Bhatt said. “It’s become a priority to see what we can do to help.”

Rabbi Jay Rosenbaum of Temple Israel in Lawrence said the North American Board of Rabbis, which he heads, has called on its members to raise funds and send emergency aid.

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