If you recall, in January this year, there was major flooding in the Midwest along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. At that time, the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz called for a national collection, intending that the collected funds would be used to assist all dioceses around the country who suffered natural disasters for the calendar year. In the Diocese of Cheyenne, we did not take up the collection at that time, guessing that there would be even greater disasters later in the year, which would be a strong motivation for the people of Wyoming to participate in this collection.
Well, that time has come!
Hopefully you have been following the unfolding and ongoing tragedy stemming from the extensive flooding in Louisiana this past month. At this time, we know the Diocese of Baton Rouge is one diocese where the flooding has caused major damage and the disruption of many services and lives.
Over 60,000 homes have been impacted. Over 20,000 people rescued. Approximately 106,000 individuals and families are seeking federal aid.
Along with the individual lives that are substantially altered, church structures will need major repairs, including parish churches and schools.
Throughout the Diocese of Cheyenne we will take up a collection the weekend of September 10 -11 to show our solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Who does not recall the teaching of Jesus that our neighbor is the one who is hungry, thirsty, naked, ill? Surely the people of Louisiana are such brothers and sisters to us who now have need of these basic necessities of life. Their own livelihoods have been threatened, and we can now do something substantial to show our solidarity and compassion, that they may experience the nearness of Christ in their moment of need.
I know many of our own people are suffering economic hardships at this time, but many of us are still in a position to provide support and encouragement to the people of Louisiana.
Please continue to pray for the many people around the world who are suffering from natural disasters during these days. This includes the earthquake victims in Italy, where the death toll is now approaching 300.