Cardinal Blase Cupich will head to Puerto Rico on behalf of Pope Francis Sunday to aid in recovery efforts on the island, he announced Friday evening.
From Sunday through Wednesday, the cardinal will meet with those affected by Hurricanes Maria and Irma and distribute everything from chainsaws to diapers, he said. He’ll also visit San Juan, meet with bishops and visit the Diocese of Arecibo and Caguas.
“When the Holy Father asked me to share his concern with the people of Puerto Rico, our fellow Americans, I was honored and pleased to do so,” Cupich said. “And so Sunday I will visit with my brother bishops and see their current situation and review the outreach efforts we are making from Chicago.”
The pastoral visit will be the latest by people from Chicago who have gone to the island to bring supplies and other assistance. A group of area firefighters has visited, as has U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez. Cupich said Catholic Charities is sending aid to Puerto Rico and he hopes to meet with those who distribute the items.
The charities have helped gather some items for those in Puerto Rico, and the group has also worked to gather coats and other supplies for those who come to the city’s Multi-Agency Resource Center at the Humboldt Park Field House.
“This person-to-person outreach is about more than delivering needed supplies,” Cupich said. “In all of this we are reassuring the people of Puerto Rico that their neighbors to the North care about them and we pray for them.”