USCCB president calls for aid to Archdiocese of OKC to assist with tornado recovery efforts

WASHINGTON D.C./OKLAHOMA CITY (May 23, 2013) – The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops yesterday called on Catholics in parishes across the country to respond to the needs of central Oklahomans in the wake of the devastating tornadoes of May 19 and May 20.

In a letter, Cardinal Timothy Dolan asked the U.S. bishops to initiate a special collection of funds in their dioceses to aid ongoing tornado recovery efforts in central Oklahoma and to prepare for future storms.

“Today I make a request, dear brothers, that you encourage your pastors to take up a special collection during the months of May and June to assist in recovery efforts from the recent storms in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma (City) and other natural disasters that the Church in this country may suffer this year,” the letter states. “I request that we broaden this appeal in anticipation of more domestic disasters possibly awaiting us this year.”

The funds collected in this one-time special appeal for the 2013 storms and disasters will be used to support the efforts of the USCCB and Catholic Charities USA, the official domestic relief agency of the U.S. Catholic Church, as they respond to immediate emergency needs for such necessities as water, food, shelter and medical care, as well as to the long-term need to rebuild after widespread destruction, according to the letter.


Archbishop Paul Coakley today authorized this collection in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and urged local pastors and parishes to participate. Funds collected locally will be used locally to benefit Oklahomans who have been affected by the tornadoes, not just members of the archdiocese.

“The recovery process will not be over in a matter of days or even a matter of weeks,” Archbishop Coakley said. “For the people who have lost home or loved ones, the rebuilding process will take months and even years. Oklahomans are resilient – but recovery nonetheless requires a wide variety of resources.”

“As the family members, friends and neighbors of those who were affected by the May tornadoes in central Oklahoma, the members of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City have special reason to be generous to this collection,” the archbishop continued.

The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City is the Catholic Church in central and western Oklahoma. We are followers of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who became man more than 2,000 years ago, proclaimed the Kingdom of God, was crucified, died and rose from the dead. His death and resurrection make it possible for us today to have the hope of everlasting life and to dedicate ourselves to works of mercy.


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To download the .PDF of this news release, please click here.