Chicago's Catholic Extension helping elderly nuns left homeless by Puerto Rico earthquake

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Power is expected to be restored in the coming days to an estimated 1 million people in the aftermath of that powerful earthquake that killed one person and injured nine others in Puerto Rico.

More than 2,000 people are living in shelters and many others are sleeping outside of their homes, including a group of nuns who were forced to live in tents after their home collapsed.

The connection to Puerto Rico is deep for Joe Boland, the Vice President of Mission for Catholic Extension. He has been on the phone with contacts on the island since the earthquake and they are sharing images of the precarious situation.

"I'm told as recently as today that every half hour, the ground starts to shake again," Boland said.

Now among those in need are a group elderly nuns.

"These are missionary sisters. Many of them have lived their whole lives among the poor, among the refugees, and ironically, 15 sisters themselves are refugees," he said.

Boland said the mother house for the Dominican Sister of Our Lady of Fatima was badly damaged. The nuns have devoted their lives to empowering poor women, and three have lost their mobility. They had been living in tents until the Diocese of Ponce could find them shelter.

In addition to taking in the nuns, the Diocese of Ponce has set up nine aid centers to assist residents who lost home or their homes are unsafe after the earthquake. On Thursday, Catholic Extension wired $15,000 to the Diocese of Ponce.

"They are supporting hundreds of people right now, from denominations and non-believers, anyone who is in aid or support," Boland said.

Catholic Extension is activating its donors across the country to assist as Puerto Rican residents still recovering from Hurricane Maria are living through yet another natural disaster. Click here for more information.
Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.