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After Hurricane Laura, Knights of Columbus pledge aid to Louisiana diocese

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CNA Staff, Aug 31, 2020 / 10:30 am MT (CNA).- The Knights of Columbus have pledged to donate $150,000 to a Louisiana diocese badly hit by Hurricane Laura.

On Friday, the Catholic fraternal organization announced they would send assistance to the Diocese of Lake Charles, Louisiana, which suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Laura last week. The Category 4 hurricane made landfall in western Louisiana on early Wednesday morning, resulting in ten deaths and up to $12 billion in damage in Louisiana and Texas.

“This donation is only the first step in our efforts to help with recovery,” Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, stated on Friday.

Bishop Glen John Provost of Lake Charles stated his gratitude for the Knights’ assistance, noting that the devastation wrought by the storm was “enormous.”

“The task ahead for us is most challenging, but we know, as in the past, the Knights have always been there for us. God bless them!” he said.

The Diocese of Lake Charles reported last week that nearly one-third of priests in active ministry were displaced by the storm, with at least six churches destroyed and at least a dozen suffering serious damage. All of the diocese’s 39 parishes and 7 mission churches suffered damage to some extent.

Bishop Provost said on Saturday that the city of Lake Charles is a “disaster,” while the diocesan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception sustained roof damage and the chancery is currently uninhabitable.

“No house, no business is left untouched,” he said in a statement posted on the diocesan Facebook page. Downed electric lines are everywhere. We have no internet or website access.”

In addition, several religious community residences were ruled uninhabitable and only one in six schools will open on time for the fall semester. The local Catholic Charities of Southwest Louisiana has reported a current need for food, water, tarps, and hotel vouchers.

“Our prayers are with the people of the Diocese of Lake Charles and with everyone impacted by this destructive storm,” Anderson said on Friday.

Members of the Knights in the state have already begun their recovery efforts, while the Supreme Council is sending food, water, and cleaning and repair supplies to the affected areas.

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