Catholic charities have set up relief services in the areas hit hardest, which are highly developed and have a high poverty rate.
Analysis: For a variety of reasons, Catholics will break one way or the other in the final weeks of the presidential race, and that will decide who wins.
"My dad used to say, 'I know what happened 2,000 years ago. I need to know how to live my life today.'"
These words, from Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis, get to the heart of a new proposed document on preaching to be considered by the U.S. bishops at the fall general meeting in November.
The document, "Preaching the Mystery of Faith: The Sunday Homily," encourages preachers to connect the Sunday homily with people's daily lives.
The 2012 American Values Survey found that 60 percent of Catholics prefer bishops to focus on social justice issues, even if it means less emphasis on abortion.
The chairman of the U.S. Catholic bishops' subcommittee on marriage described as "unjust and a great disappointment" the decision by a federal appeals court striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, which says marriage is a legal union of a man and a woman.
"Redefining marriage never upholds the equal dignity of individuals because it contradicts basic human rights," said San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.
In a rare public rebuke, Catholic bishops chided Vice President Joe Biden for saying during Thursday's vice-presidential debate that Catholic hospitals and institutions will not be forced to provide contraception coverage to employees.
Without mentioning Biden by name, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said the "inaccurate" statement "made during the Vice Presidential debate" was "not a fact."
Biden and GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan are both Catholic.
In January 2007, Catholic Charities USA launched a campaign to cut U.S. poverty in half by 2020, but the Great Recession threw up a roadblock.
Four panelists at a Catholic University of America discussion agreed that U.S. voters are more divided and partisan today, and Catholic voters are part of those partisan positions.
Most Americans do not believe Scientology is a real religion, according to a recent poll by 60 Minutes and Vanity Fair.
The survey, conducted by CBS News, found that 70 percent of Americans say that Scientology is not a true religion; 13 percent believe it is; and 18 percent either don't know or don't care.
During October, designated each year as Respect Life Month by the U.S. Catholic Church, Catholics should "renew their personal commitment to defend all human life, especially the most vulnerable members of the human family," said the chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities.