PORTLAND —The Catholic Diocese of Portland is donating $200,700 to the Archdiocese of Nassau in the Bahamas to help with hurricane relief efforts.

Maine’s Catholic churches held a special collection Sept. 14-15 to provide aid and support to victims of Hurricane Dorian and any additional natural disasters that could occur this year.

Hurricane Dorian intensified before making landfall Sept. 1 in the Bahamas, where it battered the island for nearly 40 hours, resulting in 70 deaths and thousands of homes and buildings destroyed. It is considered one of the worst natural disasters in the country’s history.

The proceeds have been sent to Archbishop Patrick C. Pinder, archbishop of Nassau, Bahamas, to help with the recovery efforts throughout his diocese. The Diocese of Portland has had a relationship with the Archdiocese of Nassau for nearly 40 years since the Second Vatican Council called faithful Catholics to be “missionary.” This relationship included a mission in the Bahamas that was staffed by the Sisters of Mercy of Portland.

“Please allow me to express my gratitude to the many people in our parish communities for their generosity in helping to provide crucial relief and humanitarian aid at a time of devastation and suffering in the Bahamas,” said Bishop Robert Deeley. “The charitable giving of the people of Maine once again rose to meet an enormous challenge affecting people we will never meet. Yours is the charity of Christ. Please join me in continuing to keep the thousands of individuals and families affected in our prayers.”

To further assist recovery efforts in the Bahamas, donations can be made by calling (877) 435-7277, visiting support.crs.org/donate/hurricane-dorian, or mailing a check/money order to Catholic Relief Services, P.O. Box 17090, Baltimore, MD 21297-0303 (put Hurricane Dorian Relief in the memo line).

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