Gulf Pine Catholic

Volume 39 No. 2 September 17, 2021 Catholic Hurricane Ida leaves mark on the Gulf Coast The Catholic Diocese of Biloxi will hold a special collection to benefit the faithful of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux and the Archdiocese of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida the weekend of September 25-26. We have experienced the pain and expense of recovery following a storm of such magnitude, and we have experienced the generosity the faithful from dioceses from across the country who reached out with their support. BY CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICES WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is asking bishops throughout the country to consider taking up a volun- tary special collection to help in the recovery and the humanitarian response to Hurricane Ida. Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez said in a Sept. 8 letter to bishops that the funds collected would be distributed through the Bishops Emergency Disaster Fund to areas most impacted by the storm. In his letter, the archbishop said funds would be used to support the pastoral and reconstruction needs of the Catholic Church in affected areas and also aid the response by Catholic Charities USA and possibly Catholic Relief Services. “Funds will be used in response to the hurricane and the impact of subsequent flooding and tornadoes and any other disasters that occur and will be distributed where they are most needed,” the letter said. “However, if such purpose(s) become unnecessary, impractical, or impossible to fill, USCCB may use such contributions for other emergency disaster relief where it is most needed as determined by the Committee on National Collections using its emergency response pro- tocol,” the letter added. Archbishop Gomez also wrote that he recognized that the continuing COVID-19 pandemic has imposed finan- cial challenges on parishes and dioceses, but stressed that there is a growing need in communities impacted by the storm. He expressed hope that people would respond in such a time of need. Ida made landfall in Louisiana Aug. 29 as one of the most powerful storms to strike the state. It caused exten- sive damage in the Gulf Coast region, knocking out power, destroying homes, buildings and churches, and causing extensive flooding. The storm continued toward the Northeast, where it dropped heavy rains in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, leading to massive flood- ing of homes, subways and streets. Through Sept. 7, Ida had claimed 89 lives in the U.S. Another 20 people died in Venezuela before Ida headed northward. USCCB president asks bishops to consider storm relief collection Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on August 29, the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Although the Mississippi Gulf Coast missed the brunt of Ida’s wrath, the Category 4 storm still left its mark. Ida’s winds stripped bricks off the north wall of the church, subsequently causing extensive damage to the roof of the rectory. No one was hurt. Photos/Terry Dickson