The generosity of people from different faiths

The generosity of people from different faiths

hurricanevolunteersatnotredamedelamer-webVolunteers and people affected by Hurricane Sandy go through donations at the disaster relief site at Notre Dame de la Mer Parish, Wildwood, on Nov. 3. Religious leaders from all over the world have been praying for the hurricane victims.

Photo by Alan M. Dumoff,

Down here in Wildwood we are very thankful that Hurricane Sandy did not inflict the massive damage upon our island that was visited upon many of the shore towns north of us. Here in Cape May County our own Diocese of Camden’s Catholic Charities in partnership with FEMA have been camped out in the parking lot of one of our churches, St. Ann, at Notre Dame de la Mer Parish, to distribute needed supplies to those in need because of the hurricane. Our parishioners have been showing up to help to contribute to the effort.

Those who found themselves in the path of Hurricane Sandy were and continue to be very grateful for those who prayed for their well being and who continue to keep us in prayer as we clean up and rebuild.

On Oct. 31 during his general audience, Pope Benedict XVI offered prayers for the victims of Hurricane Sandy, saying, “Conscious of the devastation caused by the hurricane which recently struck the East Coast of the United States of America. I offer my prayers for the victims and express my solidarity with all those engaged in the work of rebuilding.”

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and head of the Archdiocese of New York, said, “We’ve got so much to pray for as we mourn our dead, pray for their families and for those injured and without homes. We also pray in thanksgiving for their heroic service of so many entrusted with our protection. Praise God that, once again, this community has united in selfless service to those in need.”

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia sent a letter of sympathy to the United States in connection with the consequences of Hurricane Sandy, saying, “I am sure that, in these difficult days, the government is doing all that is necessary to overcome the consequences of the hurricane and that the American people, who have always been known for their cohesion and mutual support, will brave out their ordeal. In my sincere empathy with the people of the United States, I pray that our Lord Jesus Christ heal and comfort the victims as soon as possible and that He help the rescue workers and doctors who are involved in the rehabilitation work.”

Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, the general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), sent a letter to the National Council of Churches in the United States, saying “I write to assure you of the prayers of the WCC for all those who have been affected, particularly those who have lost ones or who now find themselves without a home. In this time of recovery when so many local churches are working together to offer emergency relief and support, we see a poignant reminder of how important the common witness and service of the ecumenical family is.”

The Rev. Mark S. Hanson, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, said, “With St. Paul we can say, ‘If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it’ (1 Corinthians 12:26). As members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, we remain in prayer, responding and working tirelessly to rebuild lives, congregations and communities.”

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church, said, “The impact in a principal metropolitan area of the United States has brought an unimagined level of destruction and suffering that will long continue in the mid-Atlantic region It has also brought home the reality of changing global weather and the kind of extreme climate events that are increasingly likely to confront us all. The effects of this storm are being felt far beyond the lands over which it has passed. May this remind us of our shared community and tenancy on this fragile earth, our island home.”

The Islamic Relief USA Disaster Assistance Response Team partnered up with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in reaching out in prayer and assistance to those in need along the East Coast. The Jewish Federations of North America have banded together to help victims of Sandy. A representative of the Reform movement in Judaism explained the reason Jews are helping out because the role of the synagogues is “to create Jews of value who serve the larger world. We have an obligation not just to help our own, but to help the larger community.”

It’s wonderful to know that so many people of faith are praying for the well being of all those affected by Hurricane Sandy and for all their generous outreach to the victims of this terrible storm.

Father Joseph D. Wallace is coordinator, Ecumenical and Inter-religious Affairs, Diocese of Camden.

Categories: That All May Be One

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