WASHINGTON — On Oct. 12, 2017, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Fla., chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, asked for prayers for favorable weather and assistance for those impacted by devastating fires raging through Northern California.
Bishop Dewane’s full statement follows:
“Do not fear: I am with you;
do not be anxious: I am your God.
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”
– Isaiah 41:10
Today we ask for the intercession of Almighty God as wildfires rage in Northern California. Already, these blazes have killed over 20 people, destroyed hundreds of houses and other buildings, and forced thousands of individuals to leave their homes and livelihoods behind in uncertainty. High winds and dry conditions have greatly increased the danger for the people in this region.
As brave men and women respond to these disasters, battling the fires and helping people to safety, we call upon God for improved weather, for the blessing of rain and favorable winds, to assist them. We pray that those who are missing or are still in harm’s way will be found and protected. May God grant eternal rest to those who have died, and bring them into glory with Him forever.
We pray, too, for generosity, care and concern from neighbors and surrounding communities for those who are grieving and displaced. Though we may be weary from all that has taken place around the country in recent days, we know that God cannot be outdone in generosity and charity. May He provide us with new wellsprings of love to meet the needs of our brothers and sisters who are hurting so deeply today.