Northern California has been experiencing catastrophic damage from wildfires. According to the Washington Post, 29 people have died and thousands have been displaced. Entire neighborhoods have been destroyed, and few of the fires are contained. The fires have also destroyed wineries. The destruction is likely to continue to grow for the forseeable future.
The diocese of Santa Rosa, California, has been in the heart of the damage. Cardinal Newman High School, located in Santa Rosa, has seen significant damage, with half of the campus no longer standing. None of the building damage considers the tremendous amount of people who have been displaced. Numerous individuals have no homes to return to, and the Cathedral in Santa Rosa is among many places that are serving as emergency shelters. New evacuation orders have been issued for additional locations.
The weather forecast is also not providing any comfort. Red Flag warnings continue to be posted in areas already overwhelmed by existing wildfires. The Weather Channel quoted fire chief Ken Pimlott that the “going to continue to get worse before it gets better.” With continued winds, low humidity and dry conditions, there does not appear to be an end in sight.
As persons of faith, the challenges of multiple disasters can be wearing. But one thing that we are given to help us is the gift of our faith. We can certainly continue to pray for those who have been impacted. We offer a place to offer prayers for siutations, others, or yourself. Going to our prayer submission website, or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org can have your intentions offered twice a day, as well as allowing others to pray for you as well.
There are ways to provide donations to help those in need. To see a list of specific opportunities where you can make donations, check our page for wildfire donations.