HONG KONG – The world has watched with great sadness the unfolding tragedy that has hit the state of Texas in the U.S. as a result of Hurricane Harvey which landed on August 26. The ensuing days of torrential rain has made this a historic natural disaster in the U.S. in size and scope
Columban Superior General, Fr. Kevin O’Neill, offers his prayers on behalf of Columbans worldwide to the people of Houston and all people harmed by Hurricane Harvey, saying, “Tragedy of this kind calls forth in all of us a desire to come to the aid of those who have suffered and to be part of the healing and rebuilding that will be needed for many weeks and months ahead. May people find strength and courage through the solidarity of others near and far.”
Director of the US Region, Fr. Tim Mulroy, notes the long history of Columban missionary presence in Texas and says, “We pray in a special way for all the Columban families and friends in the Houston and surrounding area during this devastating time. We are working with local and national Church offices to see how best we can offer our support.”
Just one week after Hurricane Harvey impacts the Gulf region, the global Church sets to celebrate the World Day of Prayer for Creation on September 1, 2017, instituted by Pope Francis in 2015. Columbans take this time to remember all human and environmental victims of natural disaster. We remember in particular the many millions affected by flooding in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Let us remember as Pope Francis writes in his encyclical that hearing the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth is integral to our faith. Surely we can hear those cries in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. May we join together as one human family united in Christ to find a path forward so that the world can know healing and regeneration.
Fr. Kevin O'Neill