Tuesday, 21 May 2013 06:28
From May 19 through May 20, 2013, a series of devastating tornadoes ripped through central Oklahoma, culminating in a storm of EF-4 magnitude that struck Moore, Okla., May 20. These natural disasters wreaked havoc and left heartache and loss in their wake. As of 9:00 a.m. May 21, the death toll from the tornado in Moore stood at 24, revised downward from 51, and included seven children. Two people also died in Shawnee. The exact loss of human life remains unknown.
The Most Reverend Paul S. Coakley, Archbishop of Oklahoma City, said the members of the archdiocese are appreciative of the outpouring of prayers and support they have already received from people around the world. The archbishop assures the victims of the tornadoes that he and the faithful in Oklahoma will walk with them not merely through the next few days, but through the weeks, months and years of rebuilding to come.
“Our first concern is for the victims who have lost their lives or loved ones and suffered injury or loss of property,” Archbishop Coakley said. “We are moved by the efforts of the first responders who have put their own lives on hold to help in this time of need. We owe them a debt of gratitude and assure them of our prayers. As soon as possible, I will be on site in Moore to help support and offer comfort and consolation to anyone who might need or desire it. We draw hope in such times from Jesus’ invitation to the weary or troubled to come to Him and find rest.
“Catholic Charities OKC and we as an archdiocese will work with many others to ensure a smooth and comprehensive response not only to the immediate needs of those affected by the violent storms, but also to their long-term needs as they rebuild their lives. We’re there for the long term and we’re usually the last ones to leave.
“The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City has received a flood of inquiries and assurances of prayers from people across the country and around the world, including the Holy Father Pope Francis, the apostolic nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganó and Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. We are deeply grateful.
“We will continue to provide information as it becomes available to us and will continue to pray for all those whose lives have been touched by this catastrophe.”
Catholic Charities of Oklahoma City is currently accepting donations at the following link: https://ccokc.ejoinme.org/?tabid=406485.