CHICAGO - Chicago's Cardinal Blase Cupich leaves on a mission to Puerto Rico Sunday.
The cardinal is going at the request of Pope Francis, and Friday he told ABC7 what he hopes to accomplish there.
"We can highlight the real need that's there and hopefully bring more aid through the generosity of people," Cupich said.
More than 10 weeks after Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria, residents there are struggling. They still lack reliable electricity, or any power, clean water, and materials and equipment to rebuild. Pope Francis asked Cardinal Cupich to go see the conditions firsthand.
"I hope to visit with those working on the ground to distribute those items, everything from chainsaws to diapers, here from the people of Chicago," he said.
The cardinal's journey from Chicago will take him first to San Juan, then south to Ponce, west to Mayaguez and to the northern coast town of Arecibo, and then finally inland to Caguas.
Cupich hopes to bring more attention to the need on the island, and stories that have faded from the headlines.
"The people of Puerto Rico need you to tell their story, to give voice and a face to their tragedy, but also to show the hope and resilience of these Americans," he said.
ABC7's Alan Krashesky will be traveling with the cardinal on his mission. ABC7's live coverage begins Sunday morning on ABC7 Eyewitness News, as well as on abc7chicago.com, our news app and Facebook pages.