Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President, Archbishop Francis Carroll today expressed his prayerful solidarity with victims of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent devastation in New Orleans and surrounding areas.
Archbishop Carroll sent his heartfelt condolences to all who had lost loved ones in the hurricane and its aftermath.
“We pray for those who have died and for those, including the very young, the sick and the elderly, who are facing extreme hardship as the mammoth relief effort continues,” he said.
“The scale of this natural disaster and its effect on this massive urban population is difficult to comprehend.”
Archbishop Carroll asked Australians to join Pope Benedict XVI’s appeal for all believers to join in prayer so that the relatives of the dead and injured will experience God’s consolation.
“We express solidarity with all affected by this crisis, including our Catholic brothers and sisters whose homes, churches and schools have been wiped out,” he said.
“Their task of recovery has been helped by generous offers from neighbouring dioceses for their schools to take in students from Catholic schools which have been destroyed in New Orleans.”
Archbishop Carroll said dioceses which escaped Katrina have adopted dioceses which were affected and together they are coming up with very practical ways of offering assistance to those most in need.
The U.S. bishops’ conference has organised a national collection to help victims of the hurricane and Catholic aid is arriving in the affected area thanks to Catholic Charities, diocesan Caritas agencies, and other organisations, associations and movements.
“We will continue to pray for those affected by this disaster over the long months of recovery which lie ahead,’’ Archbishop Carroll said.
Released by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference