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People of prayer, people of action

Debris surrounds the altar of the destroyed St. Peter Church in Rockport, Texas, following Hurricane Harvey in 2017. (CNS photo/Bob Roller) Debris surrounds the altar of the destroyed St. Peter Church in Rockport, Texas, following Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
When Vermont Catholics are asked to assist persons who have been affected by natural disasters like hurricanes and flooding, they respond with generosity.
 
Recent collections for victims of Hurricane Harvey raised nearly $212,000; for those reeling in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Vermont Catholics donated more than 95,000.
 
Sandy relief efforts here in 2012 raised just under $15,000; Irene fundraising in 2011 was nearly $154,000, which stayed in hard-hit Vermont.
 
Nearly $400,000 was collected for victims of Hurricane Katrina over the course of one year from September 2005 to October 2006.
 
Earlier this year Burlington Bishop Christopher Coyne requested all 73 parishes throughout the statewide Diocese take up a collection and respond generously to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Collections continued for natural disasters that followed. 
 
"Along with all of the other generous people of the state of Vermont, the Catholic community is ready to stand in solidarity with our suffering brothers and sisters whose lives have been so devastated by these natural disasters. We are not just people of prayer. We are people of action,” he said.
 
All donations for humanitarian and recovery efforts were distributed by Catholic Charities USA to areas in greatest need.
 
About $7,500 was collected for this year’s relief efforts at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Williston and Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church in Richmond, where Father Daniel Jordan is pastor. “People were very generous, especially with the beginning of school” and related expenses at about the same time the collections were taken, he said. “It tends to be a fairly hard time for a lot of people.”
 
He was gratified that people gave as much as they could to help their neighbors in hard-hit areas. “This is neighbor helping neighbor beyond the borders of a parish or state. ... It is helping our brothers and sisters in Christ, all made in the image and likeness of God,” he said. “Our faith calls us to respond to all those in need. Even though we are a small diocese, the Vermont Catholic community is very generous.”
 
--Cori Fugere Urban
 
A Shining Beacon of Hope
A Prayer After a Hurricane
 
Mary, Star of the Sea,
We ask your intercession for our brothers and sisters,
who have weathered too many storms and
borne too many hardships.
Be near them in their time of trouble.
Comfort all whose homes have been washed away.
Console all who have lost loved ones.
Fill those who wait in fear and uncertainty with your peace.
We pray for a spirit of perseverance,
Especially for those who have emerged from the storm as
caretakers and victims;
Be a shining beacon of hope as they begin the journey of
recovery.
And stand us firm beside them in solidarity.
We ask this in the name of Jesus, your Son.
Amen.
--From Catholic Relief Services


— Originally published in the Winter 2017 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.
 
Vermont Catholic Magazine © 2016 Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington