CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Catholics across West Virginia and those in attendance at mass services the weekend of Aug. 13 and 14 will have a chance to give to support flooding relief efforts in Kentucky and parts of West Virginia.
Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston Bishop Mark Brennan has approved a special collection to be held in all parishes and missions throughout the diocese to support recovery efforts related to the devastating flooding the last week of July in Eastern Kentucky that killed at least 37 people. DWC said part of the collections will also go towards flash flooding victims in West Virginia through the Catholic Charities of West Virginia.
“The bishop had talked to his brother bishops in Kentucky, specifically the Diocese of Lexington, who detailed the shear devastation that occurred after the severe weather. And this is one of the things that Catholics are called to do. Support others in their time of need,” Tim Bishop, the Director of Communications for DWC told MetroNews.
Catholic Charities West Virginia and Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Lexington are providing long-term recovery efforts. Bishop said it’s key that there is still help around when other organizations have moved out.
“These kinds of disasters last months and years rather than weeks. They go to aid in the rebuilding process for homes. We want to make sure that people have safe, secure, sanitary living conditions,” Bishop said
Checks should be made out to the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston with “Disaster Relief” on the memo line. Donations for this effort can also be made throughout August on the diocesan website at https://dwc.org/disaster-relief/.
There will be over 100 parishes and missions taking the collection over that weekend. Bishop said in 2016 the diocese raised more than $1 million in long-term flood relief for the floods in southern West Virginia.
“Each parish and mission within the diocese will pass the basket a second time. Our faithful can donate funds that will go to long-term recovery relief efforts through Catholic Charities of West Virginia and Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Lexington,” Bishop said.
Brennan said in a released statement, “We have witnessed first-hand the destruction that flooding from severe weather has caused in our Mountain State. We have nearly 10 counties that have been under a state of emergency over the past month.
“I have spoken to my brother bishops in Kentucky who have detailed the destruction of entire communities in their dioceses. I urge the faithful to be visible disciples of Christ – significant examples of Him fully alive within us. Let us help our brothers and sisters in Christ through prayer and support, giving those who are suffering hope and peace as they rebuild their lives and, in many cases, honor the precious lives lost.”