The Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is welcoming assistance as so many thousands of people have lost homes or property and some one dozen people have been killed in massive flooding affecting the state.
“The historic flooding that has taken place has impacted nearly every corner of our diocese, and our parishes and schools are struggling to recover in an effort to provide for the spiritual and educational needs of their parishioners and students,” a statement from the diocese noted.
A special account was established to assist the victims, the “Diocese of Baton Rouge Disaster Assistance Fund.” Monetary donations are critically needed at this time.
To donate, please make checks payable to “Diocese of Baton Rouge,” reference “Disaster Assistance Fund” in the memo section and mail to:
Diocese of Baton Rouge
Attn: Disaster Assistance Fund
P.O. Box 2028
Baton Rouge, LA 70821-2028
To give online, click here
Vatican Radio’s Susy Hodges spoke to Bishop Robert Muench of Baton Rouge about the disaster.
Describing the flooding as “a life-changing event,” Bishop Muench said despite this “enormous” disaster, the spirit of the local people is “resilient” and “amazingly good – even those who have lost everything.”
He described how all the different Christian denominations are working together to help the displaced by providing shelter and distributing other essentials and also praised the work of volunteers in boats who “went out and saved a lot of lives.” He said people are rallying around and “coming together” in the wake of this disaster to help those in need and called it “very inspiring.”
Bishop Muench has seen with his own eyes some of the worst damage, saying in many cases the flood waters reached the roofs of houses causing enormous damage inside and will have a long-term impact on peoples’ lives.
“It turns your life upside down and it’s extremely disruptive,” he said.
Bishop Muench has spent most of his life in Lousiana and seen other floods there but in his view, these latest floods were “of historic proportions, both in terms of how many people are affected and the damage they have done.”
“The extent and the scope (of the floods) is enormous and the effect is massive,” he said, noting that most of the 5,500 square miles (14,200 square kilometres) of his diocese was affected by the floodwaters.