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Editor's Note: The Diocese has become aware of several fraudulent fundraising appeals that have arisen, supposedly from Catholic organizations in Africa, regarding the Ebola outbreak there.  We all want to help in this emergency, and we all should be praying for a quick end to this crisis.  If we are able to make a financial donation as well, Catholic Relief Services offers a sure pathway for assistance to those in need.  Read below for more information on how to help:

October 14, 2014

Dear Friends,

As you have heard in the news, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is dire. The Holy Father has called attention to the crisis, saying, "My thoughts now go to the countries in Africa that are suffering because of the outbreak of Ebola. I invite you to pray for them and for those who have so tragically lost their lives." The Church on the ground is courageously living out Jesus' ministry of healing and comfort.

As of the beginning of October, more than 3,800 people have been killed and the World Health Organization estimates that the death toll could rise to 20,000 people by November unless the outbreak is contained. In the absence of a vaccine or cure, the only way to control the current outbreak is through public education and prevention.

Catholic Relief Services has been collaborating with the Catholic Church, local leaders and health ministries in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to educate people about Ebola, train health care workers, and provide food and other critical supplies to those affected by the outbreak. CRS has trained local volunteers to go door to door – especially in rural communities – to help spread the word and distribute posters, fliers and fact sheets.

You can participate in their work by praying for people affected by the outbreak, for healthcare workers and for other responders, and also by donating to our efforts. Please also join the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and CRS in thanking the Obama administration for its critical support of the Ebola response and urging the government to expand its commitment, including long-term support for better health systems in the affected countries.

Thank you for all you do to help our brothers and sisters in need around the world.

Blessings,

Joan Rosenhauer
Executive Vice President
CRS - U.S. Operations