Katrina's toll on diocesan infrastructure

CLICK HEREBishops in the USA have said that dioceses in the Gulf Coast have faced unparalleled devastation from Hurricane Katrina and will need massive reconstruction, costing hundreds of millions of dollars, once the clean up is done.

Catholic News Agency reports that bishops from dioceses in Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama have been in touch with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), giving indications about the extent of the damage and how dioceses had been affected.

Bishop Thomas Rodi of Biloxi, Mississippi, reached the USCCB by cell phone and said 20% of the diocese's churches and a third of its schools have been destroyed. Every presbytery, school, convent and diocesan building sustained moderate to severe damage, he said. He was working from his office where there was no water or electricity.

USCCB president Bishop William Skylstad had tried to communicate with all the bishops. Some, however, could not be reached.

"All the bishops of the United States are concerned for the number of church personnel who are isolated, working under great adversity, and perhaps not even aware that the whole country is praying for them," he said. "We don't even know if all of them are safe."

Bishop Skylstad pointed out that most of the affected dioceses are Home Mission dioceses, "which struggle to survive under the best of conditions" and rely on the financial support of other dioceses to fund basic pastoral life.

Massive reconstruction of diocesan infrastructure needed in Katrina's wake (Catholic News Agency 5/9/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Archdiocese of New Orleans

Pope sends Katrina aid (CathNews 5/9/05)
Church reaches out to hurricane victims (CathNews 2/9/05)
Catholic Charities prepared for hurricane relief effort (CathNews 31/8/05)

Katrina: In For The Long Haul (Vatican Radio English Features 5/9/05, audio - requires Real Player)
Pope prays for hurricane victims and for Iraq (Vatican Information Service 5/9/05)
Pope Benedict expresses solidarity with Hurricane Katrina, Iraqi bridge victims (Catholic News Agency 5/9/05)
Hurricane Katrina and the Vincentian Family (Vincentian Encyclopedia)
Hurricane Katrina: poorest dioceses hit the hardest (Independent Catholic News/US Conference of Catholic Bishops 5/9/05)
Amid the Ruins, Worshipers Pause to Pray and Receive Messages of Hope (New York Times 5/9/05)
New Orleans bishop: 'I'm convinced that God is going to purify us through this' (Spirit Daily)
Papal Envoy to Express Solidarity With Hurricane Victims (Zenit 4/9/05)

6 Sep 2005