Written by Sherry
Monday, 07 May 2007 10:48
Greensburg, Kansas, which was destroyed in that terrible tornado last week is located in the diocese of Dodge City, Kansas. Thank God, they have just found another survivor after two days.
We've done a lot of work in the diocese (which borders the diocese of Colorado Springs) which stretches across the praries of southwest Kansas and is one of the smallest dioceses in the US.
It's a diocese so small that Bishop Gilmore knows all the children being confirmed and that most of the diocesan leaders have their eye on that likely Catholic teen in Hays or Garden City who shows such potential. In southwestern Kansas, a town of 4,000 like Greensburg is a significant center. Its loss is enormous.
The Greensburg Catholic church, St. Joseph's, was completely destroyed and the pastor is still attempting to locate members of his congregation.
But the diocese is rallying its far-flung members via the internet. The children who attended school in Greenburg will be welcomed, without charge, to finish out the school year in any of the Catholic schools in the diocese. Collections are being taken up at every parish in the diocese and will be distributed through Kansas Catholic Social Services.
Pray for the people of Greensburg. Consider giving to the diocesan fund to assist the victims rebuild their lives.
Catholic News Service has this piece this morning on St. Joseph's in Greenburg and the efforts of the diocese to respond.
Tim Wenzl, media liaison for the Dodge City Diocese, said St. Joseph Church was destroyed in the May 4 tornado, with only a memorial bell and a statue of St. Joseph left standing in an exterior niche of a wall. But all 160 parishioners have been accounted for and no one was killed, he added.
Another Catholic church, St. Peter and Paul in North Ellinwood, lost its steeple and has a large hole in its roof, Wenzl said. The church, which was built in a rural area and predates the Second Vatican Council, had been closed but was being maintained as a heritage site, he added.
Catholic Charities USA sent an initial $10,000 emergency grant and was collecting donations to assist in long-term recovery efforts for tornado victims. "Catholic Charities USA's Office of Disaster Reponses remains in close contact with Catholic Social Service to determine what other assistance the local agency may need in the days and weeks to come," the Virginia-based agency said May 7.
Editor's Note: Contributions to aid tornado victims may be made by phone at: (800) 919-9338; on the Web at: www.catholiccharitiesusa.org; or by check to: Catholic Charities USA, P.O. Box 7068, Merrifield, VA 22116-7068.