For all Masses this weekend, Sept. 17-18, all parishes in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia are invited to contribute to a special collection to support the victims of recent flooding Louisiana where thousands of families have been displaced.

At least 60,000 homes were damaged – and one agency estimated up to almost twice that number – in the mid-August storm that in some areas dumped 31 inches of rain in 15 hours.

More than 20,000 people were rescued from the flood waters and more than 100,000 people have sought federal disaster aid so far.

The Red Cross put the cost of recovery at more than $30 million due to the storm which the agency called the most powerful in the United States since Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

The one-time special collection this weekend is part of a national initiative called for by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to aid Catholic Charities USA relief efforts.

All contributed funds will support the humanitarian work of Catholic Charities USA in providing those affected by the flooding with immediate and long-term disaster relief.

Donations may be made directly to Catholic Charities USA, where more information is also available.

All Catholics are asked to pray for individuals and families affected by the storm and for those working to provide them with comfort and support.