News: Bishop launches special disaster collection for local and global relief

August 28, 2020


In response to recent local and global disasters, Bishop William Joensen asked all parishes in the Diocese of Des Moines take up a special collection at all of their Masses Aug. 29-30.

On Aug. 10, a straight-line windstorm, called a derecho, hit Iowa with hurricane-force winds. The storm caused severe damage to crops, businesses and homes. Tens of thousands of individuals and families, weeks later, are still assessing damages and removing debris.

The Diocese of Des Moines is working with the Des Moines Catholic Charities to help individuals and families most severely affected. A Derecho Relief Fund has been established for this work of mercy, and Bishop Joensen is asking individuals and families to prayerfully consider making a donation during the collection at one of the Masses or online at

Donations will provide direct relief to those with the greatest need. If funds collected meet the needs in southwest Iowa, the diocese will contact neighboring dioceses impacted by the derecho, including the Archdiocese of Dubuque and Diocese of Davenport, to share these relief funds.

Funds will also be collected at Mass for those impacted by the tragic explosion in Beirut, Lebanon. The blast killed hundreds and injured thousands on Aug. 4, when 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate detonated at the city’s port. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has asked Catholics to offer a response of prayer, fasting, almsgiving and advocacy. Donations can be made at Funds collected will be sent to Catholic Relief Services for distribution.