Many of you know that we, as a diocese, have a special relationship with the Diocese of Cuernavaca in Mexico. You may have met their bishop, Enrique Truvino-Cruz, and his wife Maru, who joined us at the 2015 Convention in Ashland. This past April, the Rev. Anita del Aguila, rector of Iglesia de San Juan de Teólogo attended our annual clergy conference. Dozens of Oregonians have been to Cuernavaca to study Spanish through the program arranged by the Rev. Dcn. Marla McGarry-Lawrence or on pilgrimage with the Revs. John and Alice Scannell.
The earthquake of September 19 caused significant damage throughout the Diocese of Cuernavaca, and – as you can see from the videos and photos on their Facebook account – clergy and parishioners have been going throughout their communities to identify the immediate needs for aid and survey for the longer-term recovery efforts. The Rev. Anita’s own parish of San Juan de Teólogo suffered structural damage, yet she has shared many pictures of parishioners in vans bringing water and other supplies directly to people, including in hard-to-reach rural areas. They have their own damage to mitigate but are out serving their neighbors!
We invite the churches of the Diocese of Oregon to designate October as a month focused on gathering financial gifts to help the Diocese of Cuernavaca provide food, water, and medical aid to their communities, as well as address the structural damage suffered by their churches and rectories. At Convention, we will receive these special gifts as a designated offering as well as contribute a significant portion of the Eucharist offering to be sent to for specific projects suggested by Bishop Enrique.
If you wish to make a donation prior to Convention (immediate help is a pressing need) several alumni of the Spanish Learning Immersion (including Sharon Rodgers, the Rev. Marianne Allison, and the Rev. Dcn. Maureen Hagen) and diocesan Communications Director Heidi Pitts have information on how those gifts may be sent.
Please also keep the people of Cuernavaca (and all those affected by earthquake, hurricane, and wildfires) in your prayers.
Compassionate Lord, we pray for those who have been devastated by recent natural disasters. We remember those who have lost their lives so suddenly. We hold in our hearts the families forever changed by grief and loss. Bring them consolation and comfort. Surround them with our prayers for strength. Bless those who have survived and heal their memories of trauma and devastation. May they have the courage to face the long road of rebuilding ahead.
We ask your blessing on all those who have lost their homes, their livelihoods, their security and their hope. Bless the work of relief agencies and those providing emergency assistance. May their work be guided by the grace and strength that comes from You alone.
Help us to respond with generosity in prayer, in assistance, in aid to the best of our abilities. Keep our hearts focused on the needs of those affected, even after the crisis is over. We ask this in Jesus’ name,
(Source: Catholic Relief Services)