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Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop Coakley on Oklahoma tornado disaster

Catholic World News - May 22, 2013

Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City expressed gratitude for prayers for the archdiocese and disaster victims following the tornadoes that ravaged parts of Oklahoma on May 19 and 20.

“Our first concern is for the victims who have lost their lives or loved ones and suffered injury or loss of property,” he said. “We are moved by the efforts of the first responders who have put their own lives on hold to help in this time of need. We owe them a debt of gratitude and assure them of our prayers. As soon as possible, I will be on site in Moore to help support and offer comfort and consolation to anyone who might need or desire it. We draw hope in such times from Jesus’ invitation to the weary or troubled to come to Him and find rest.

“Catholic Charities OKC and we as an archdiocese will work with many others to ensure a smooth and comprehensive response not only to the immediate needs of those affected by the violent storms, but also to their long-term needs as they rebuild their lives,” he added. “We’re there for the long term and we’re usually the last ones to leave.”

“We will continue to provide information as it becomes available to us and will continue to pray for all those whose lives have been touched by this catastrophe.”

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a letter to Archbishop Coakley that “the deaths of so many, especially beloved children in their school, call us to join you and the faithful of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City in prayer for the consolation of all who feel this terrible loss.”

“The experience of loss of family members, homes, neighborhoods, and even the local hospital, shows a devastation that impels us to stand with you and all the good people of Moore both in prayer for comfort and in efforts for disaster relief to ease the suffering of those whose lives have been affected by this dreadful disaster,” Cardinal Dolan added.

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