September 14, 2020
Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Dear Clergy and Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Lake Charles,
Now into our third week of recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Laura, I am writing to you in gratitude and to keep you informed about the concern and aid which has come to us from throughout the State and the Nation, especially from our Catholic community.
In conversation recently with Mayor Nic Hunter of Lake Charles, he expressed his concern that Hurricane Laura would become a “forgotten storm.” I assured him that the Catholic Church was doing all She could to make sure that this did not happen.
For your information and with sincere appreciation, I would like to thank the following members of the Catholic hierarchy who have, as of this date, contacted me personally and offered moral, spiritual, and material support to you, the faithful of the Diocese of Lake Charles:
His Eminence, Raymond Cardinal Burke
His Eminence, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo of Houston
Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans
Archbishop Alfred Hughes, Emeritus of New Orleans
Archbishop Leonard Blair of Hartford, Connecticut
Archbishop Paul Etienne of Seattle, Washington
Archbishop Timothy Broglio, Military Services of the U.S.A.
Archbishop John Favalora, Emeritus of Miami
Bishop Michael Duca of Baton Rouge
Bishop Francis Malone of Shreveport
Bishop Douglas Deshotel of Lafayette
Bishop Sam Jacobs, Emeritus of Houma-Thibodeaux
Bishop David Toups of Beaumont
Bishop Michael Mulvey of Corpus Christi
Bishop Sal Matano of Rochester, New York
Bishop Patrick Zurek of Amarillo
Bishop Gregory Parkes of St. Petersburg, Florida
Bishop Robert Hennessey, Auxiliary of Boston
Bishop Lawrence Brandt, Emeritus of Greensburg, Pennsylvania
Bishop Robert Evans, Auxiliary of Providence
Bishop George Sheltz, Auxiliary of Galveston-Houston
Bishop Curtis Guillory, Emeritus of Beaumont
Bishop Michael Pfeifer, Emeritus of San Angelo
In addition, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has announced a voluntary national collection for the victims of various disasters throughout the country, including the area affected by Hurricane Laura.
The Diocese has also received significant assistance from the Supreme Knight, Carl Anderson, and the Knights of Columbus; Catholic Charities USA; Catholic Mutual of Omaha; as well as Father Jack Wall and the Catholic Extension Society. Catholic church parishes, too numerous to name, throughout the country have sent meals, volunteers, supplies, and financial assistance. We are truly humbled and grateful for this outpouring of concern and generosity.
Also, superiors of various religious communities, some of whom serve in the Diocese, have written to me expressing solidarity and support. These included Father René Butler of the LaSalette Missionaries who wrote to me saying, “My Council and I are planning to provide some assistance for humanitarian relief through our three parishes in Sulphur. Please be assured of my continued prayerful support.” Monsignor Gilles Wach of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest, wrote, “I have asked [sisters of our society] to pray most especially for your diocese and all of those affected by this natural calamity. I pray that the Holy Virgin protect you and comfort the victims of this wicked storm.” I also received a kind letter and gift to the Diocese from Father Harry Geib, S.J., Superior of the St. Aloysius Gonzaga Jesuit Community in Washington, D.C. The Right Reverend Abbot James Laprie, O.S.B., also extended his sympathies and prayers.
Cardinal Burke was one of the first to write after the hurricane made landfall. He said, “I am deeply conscious of the devastation which Hurricane Laura is visiting upon the Diocese of Lake Charles and assure you of my prayers…. My special prayers for you will continue throughout the most difficult time through which you are passing.” Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese of the Military Services for the United States wrote, “You and the faithful you are privileged to serve have been and will remain in my prayers and thoughts…. May the rebuilding be swift and may confidence be restored in the hearts of those who suffer.”
We must remind ourselves of the Shrine of Our Lady Star of the Sea in Cameron. This beautiful remembrance of previous devastation during Hurricane Audrey will add Hurricane Laura to its list of catastrophes. Although in the bull’s eye of the storm, the statue still stands, seemingly untouched. It is miraculous! Our Lady is reminding us of her faithful presence and God’s abiding care for us.
For all those generous people, we continue to be grateful and assure them of our own prayers. May God restore health and well-being to us, resting securely in His loving hands.
Invoking the Father’s blessings on you, your families, and loved ones, I remain
Devotedly yours in our Lord,
✠Glen John Provost
Bishop of Lake Charles