‘You are not alone,’ archbishop tells victims of wildfires – CatholicPhilly.com

22September 2020

MEDFORD, Ore. (CNS)– Archbishop Alexander K. Sample of Portland checked out Southern Oregon Sept. 19-20 to fulfill a few of the numerous individuals who lost homes earlier in the month to powerful wind-driven fires.

In Sacred Heart Parish in Medford alone, nearly 150 households are at a loss with houses in ruins and ashes. Many are lower-income Hispanics. Some could not get homeowners insurance coverage or mistrusted banks and so lost their life cost savings. Whole communities in Talent and Phoenix vanished.

“It is beyond me to try to discuss why such suffering is enabled to occur in our world,” the archbishop stated during a Sept. 20 homily at Sacred Heart Church. “I’ve had some quite intriguing conversations with the Lord nowadays.”

The archbishop revealed compassion for people who have actually dealt with the pandemic, political strife and social divisions, just to be devastated by fire. “You have actually experienced a tremendous catastrophe and loss,” he said.

In between Masses, the archbishop consulted with households, a number of whom wept as they told him their stories.

“I give you not simply my own personal existence however as the shepherd of this local church, I bring with me the love, prayers, issue, and the support of all your bros and sis in Christ,” he told them.

The archbishop explained the psalm antiphon of the day: “The Lord is near to all who hire him.”

“That is the message I would like all of you to carry in your hearts in nowadays,” he stated.

“God allows suffering and evil for one reason and one factor alone: To produce an even greater excellent,” he said throughout Mass at Shepherd of the Valley Church in Central Point.

He explained that the most sublime example of this is the suffering and death of Jesus, which was horrible yet led to redemption and immortality for believers.

“So, whenever we have those doubts about what God is up to, look at the cross and see that God has not deserted us,” the archbishop said in Medford. “He loves those who are suffering so significantly in this hour.”

In the middle of suffering, it is not possible to see what will come later on, he admitted.

“Trust in God,” he informed the Central Point churchgoers. “He is with you now better than ever. And simply as he did not desert his child but raised him to new life, he will not abandon you.”

The archbishop told fire victims that not only are fellow Catholics hoping, but they are sending out funds. The archbishop has asked national church organizations to aid the region.

“My brothers and siblings, know that you are not forgotten,” the archbishop stated. “You are not alone.”

The Catholic Guard, Portland’s archdiocesan paper, strategies in the coming days to tell the stories of families who have actually lost their houses.

The Archdiocese of Portland has developed a Wildfire Relief Fund to support evacuees with housing and food along with aid parishes and schools severely impacted. Donations can be mailed to: Carmen Gaston, Director of Development– Wildfires, Archdiocese of Portland, 2838 E. Burnside St., Portland, OR 97214.

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A video of Archbishop Sample’s go to with victims of wildfires can be seen on YouTube at https://youtu.be/BzUSjXkPaI0.

Langlois is handling editor of the Catholic Guard, paper of the Archdiocese of Portland.Source: catholicphilly.com

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