Condolences, and Offers of Help, Follow in Wake of Katrina

Bishops Send Messages of Solidarity to U.S.

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NEW YORK, SEPT. 5, 2005 ( Messages of solidarity and offers of help are rising in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the president of the Scottish bishops’ conference, sent a message of sympathy to his U.S. counterpart, Bishop William Skylstad, following the storm’s devastation.

“On behalf of Scotland’s Catholics I extend to the people of the United States our deepest sympathies at the terrible loss of life your nation has experienced in the wake of Hurricane Katrina,” the cardinal wrote.

“The devastation caused in the southern states and Gulf Coast area, especially the State of Louisiana, is on an unimaginable scale,” he stated. “I offer you, on behalf of my brother bishops and the whole Catholic community of Scotland the promise of our prayers at this distressing time and a reminder of our solidarity with you as you begin to rebuild your shattered communities.”

Meanwhile, the mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, warned today that “it wouldn’t be unreasonable to have 10,000” dead from the hurricane in the flooded city.

“Profound emotions”

In Canada, Archbishop Brendan O’Brien, president of that country’s Catholic bishops’ conference, expressed his sympathy in a letter to his American counterpart, offering prayers and solidarity for the victims.

“Please convey our thoughts and especially our prayers to our brother bishops, not only but particularly in the ecclesiastical provinces of New Orleans and Mobile,” stated Archbishop O’Brien in a letter to Bishop Skylstad. “We remember them and their people, especially those who are victims of the hurricane and those involved in relief efforts.”

In his message, Archbishop O’Brien highlighted particular links that tie Canada to this region of the United States.

He wrote: “Much of the area affected was part of the original territory of the Diocese of Quebec from 1674; many of our Acadian people found refuge in that area in the time of their expulsion from their homeland in the mid-18th century; and many of the same French explorers and missionaries who traversed Canada also visited or worked in that area of your United States of America. For many Canadians, especially Catholics and including your brother bishops here in Canada, that part of your vast land evokes profound emotions.”

Archbishop O’Brien invited Canadian Catholics to support the efforts of the Canadian Red Cross or the Catholic Church in the United States.

Where to donate

The U.S. bishops’ conference has launched a nationwide special collection to assist the hundreds of thousands of victims of the devastating hurricane.

Catholic Charities USA
2005 Hurricane Relief Fund
PO Box 25168
Alexandria, VA 22313-9788

See, or call 1-800-919-9338.

In Connecticut, the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council announced the largest disaster relief effort in its history.

The fraternal organization pledged a minimum of $2.5 million in financial assistance and said it would match any funds beyond that donated to the Knights of Columbus Katrina Relief Fund over the next 60 days.

Donors in the United States should make checks payable to Knights of Columbus Charities USA Inc. and send them to:

Knights of Columbus Charities USA Inc.
Gift Processing Center
PO Box 9028
Pittsfield, MA 01202-9028

Attn: Hurricane Katrina Relief

Donors in Canada should make checks payable to Knights of Columbus Canada Charities Inc. and send them to:

Knights of Columbus Canada Charities Inc.
Gift Processing Center
PO Box 7252 Station A
Toronto, ON, M5W 1X9

Attn: Hurricane Katrina Relief

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