Flood with aid
People in areas of the South suffering from Hurricane Katrina need our financial help
By Tony Staley
Unimaginable, almost unbelievable disaster has poured into our homes through media coverage of Hurricane Katrina on TV, radio and the internet, and in newspapers and magazines.
The scope of the tragedy unfolds and grows daily. Thousands are dead; billions of dollars in property has been lost or destroyed; flood waters may take weeks or months to remove from New Orleans. Beyond that, thousands of people with little more than what they wore when they evacuated have nowhere to go and little money to spend. Armed looters have broken into stores and shot at rescue workers.
And like surging flood waters that amplified the initial damage from winds and rains, the effects of Hurricane Katrina are spreading nationwide. The result is record high gas prices and disruptions to Mississippi River barge traffic needed to carry Midwest grain to markets around the world.
We've seen footage of towns along the Gulf shore zapped out of existence, just like a disaster movie. Except these were not Hollywood special effects. This was real life. Real life destroyed. Or at the least, a way of life destroyed.
We can only imagine the unimaginable shock, the sense of loss and the uncertainty about where to go and what to do.
Fortunately, the Catholic Church is there through various Catholic Charities agencies in dioceses throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, which first felt the effects of Katrina before it strengthened.
Catholic Charities, along with the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Knights of Columbus and Extension Society, and other agencies will help meet the immediate needs of hundreds of thousands of people. Priests, deacons and others are tending to spiritual needs.
To help support the work of Catholic Charities, Bp. David Zubik has asked all 169 parishes in the Green Bay Diocese to hold a special collection this weekend.
"The disaster is heart-breaking to see. It is hard to comprehend what it is like for the people there who are faced with having lost loved ones and nearly all of their possessions," Bp. Zubik said.
Donations also may be made online at www.catholiccharitiesusa.org or by mailing checks to the Diocese of Green Bay, P.O. Box 1506, Green Bay, WI 54305-1506 (checks should be issued to the "Diocese of Green Bay" and noted in the memo "Hurricane Katrina").
Hurricane Katrina caused this disaster. It's up to us to help the survivors by donating this weekend to the special collection in our parishes. Please give generously.