Church leaders call for emergency collections to assist Louisiana flood victims

Floodwater is seen at a cemetery in Greenwell Springs, La., Aug. 14. (CNS photo/Jeffrey Dubinsky, Reuters) See story to come.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) president, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, has called for an emergency collection to assist victims of the recent flooding in Louisiana. He also issued a statement of solidarity with the victims and invited Catholics to generously help those in need.

The collection funds will support the humanitarian efforts of Catholic Charities USA and will help provide support to Catholic dioceses also impacted. Donations can be made directly to Catholic Charities USA. More information is available at:

In the Diocese of Charleston, S.C., Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone supported the call for generosity in aid, noting that the historic flooding in Louisiana is being called the worst U.S. natural disaster since Superstorm Sandy, and the magnitude of the devastation has not yet been assessed.

“Please pray for our brothers and sisters who have been affected by these floods,” Bishop Guglielmone said. He encourages parishes to take up an emergency collection to support the disaster relief efforts of Catholic Charities USA and to provide immediate and long-term services.

Following is the full statement of Archbishop Kurtz:

“The recent storms in Louisiana may not have a name, but the names of those suffering in the wake of the worst flooding since Hurricane Katrina are our sisters and brothers. As a people of God, let us come to their aid. I encourage Catholics across the United States to respond generously. Our prayer and material support is urgently needed to help rebuild lives.

As many as 60,000 homes have been damaged, with nearly 20,000 people being rescued from the flood waters. More than 106,000 individuals and families have sought federal disaster aid. Immediate and long-term recovery needs place a tremendous burden on public and private resources. This is a burden we can help carry as the body of Christ. Faced with the loss of their worldly possessions and, in some cases, economic livelihood, the flood waters left thousands of families feeling isolated and fearful. Let us draw near to them.

As president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, I have called for an emergency collection on or near Sept. 18 to support the humanitarian efforts of Catholic Charities USA and to provide pastoral and rebuilding support to impacted Catholic dioceses. Join the Church in being a visible witness to the healing presence of Jesus alive in the world. Understandably, not every parish may be able to participate, but individuals can also donate directly to Catholic Charities USA. Whether your donation is large or small, let us also be sure those suffering feel the power of our prayer to sustain them in the difficult days ahead.”

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Contribution from The Catholic Miscellany, Diocese of Charleston

CNS photo/Jeffrey Dubinsky, Reuters: Floodwater is seen at a cemetery in Greenwell Springs, La.