My Brothers in Puerto Rico Need Your Help
My Capuchin brothers in Puerto Rico urgently need your help!
Hurricane Maria was devastating.
Thanks be to God, all of the friars escaped uninjured, but it was a close call.
The missionaries in San Juan gathered at the Retreat Center of Our Lady of the Angels to wait out the hurricane. The winds were so strong, roofs were ripped off and smashed into the walls of the friary and other retreat center buildings. The friary and retreat center are in ruins, and the missionaries will have to start over.
Father Mario Mastrangelo, 86 and the senior Capuchin missionary in Puerto Rico, was among the huddled friars. Father Mario tells us it was a horrifying experience, but he is thankful that no one was injured.
After the storm passed, our missionaries immediately spread through the neighborhood to lend their help, rescuing folks from their demolished houses, clearing roads for emergency vehicles, and attending as best they could to the medical, physical, and spiritual needs of the people.
We know that there is extensive damage to San Antonio School in San Juan. After electric power is restored - which may be months - roofs, windows, doors, along with fencing, playground equipment, and much more will need to be replaced.
We have not yet heard from the friars in remote parts of the island. We may not hear from them for weeks. Please keep the missionaries and all the people of Puerto Rico in your prayers.
The soup kitchen in Utuado will be stretched beyond its limits, and people will need meals for weeks to come. But we don't know if the Santa Marta soup kitchen is still standing.
You can help the Capuchins and the devastated people they serve!
I know that I ask for your help so often, and all for good causes and much-needed projects.
But I pray that you are able to help our missionaries and the poor people of Puerto Rico. Capuchins have served on this island since the 1920s; they have never experienced this kind of destruction before.
Throughout the year you do so much for our Capuchin missionaries, and the poor people they help. But I must turn to you again with great urgency, in this moment of enormous need, to help our missionaries tend to the injured and hungry, give consolation to the grieving, and to rebuild schools, soup kitchens, friaries, and chapels.
I ask you to be generous. Please donate to help our Capuchin missionaries and the people they serve.
Any gift from the heart, and according to one's means,
is greatly appreciated: