.- Bishop John Manz, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, accompanied by Oblate Father Andrew Small, director for the Church in Latin America at the USCCB, are currently visiting communities in El Salvador affected by the recent tropical storm.
According to the USCCB, on Dec. 1 - 3, Father Small and Bishop Mainz will see the damage and flooding inflicted by the storm and also visit with Church leaders in the affected areas of San Salvador, Cuscatlán y San Vicente, and La Libertad.
Earlier this month, Hurricane Ida, followed by a low pressure tropical storm wreaked havoc on El Salvador, causing torrential rains, flooding and mudslides. The center of the country was deluged with 14 inches of rain. The storms killed 198 people, and 77 more are still reported missing.
The storm also did significant damage to the transportation infrastructure, wiping out roads and bridges. Thousands were left homeless when their homes were swept away, reports the USCCB.
The Church's response and ability to provide aid was also hindered by heavy damage inflicted by the storms and subsequent flooding. School schedules have been interrupted, and many people are having a time accessing health care.
"American Catholics care deeply about those who are hit by storms and earthquakes and are left without a home, food or running water,” said Bishop Mainz. “The Collection for the Church in Latin America is able to provide essential emergency care to the Church because of the generosity of ordinary Catholics who contribute to the annual Collection."
Last year's annual collection for Latin America raised over $7 million to help support pastoral and faith formation programs in Latin American and the Caribbean.