Member Encourages Assistance to Southwest Florida Parishes


This is a copy of a ticket sent to staff which has resulted in the following article by Frank-40263. Frank thought that members were the kind of community who would get in there and help others in need. Frank has written this article to explain why the need is so great. Please help if you possibly can. God Bless you!

Dear Staff:

Is it possible to post a link on the home page to the Diocese of Venice ( – they are in dire need of financial help for their many parishes affected by Hurricane Charley (I am a visiting parishoner to St. Catherine's Parish in Sebring, in the Diocese of Venice).

God's peace,


Archdiocese of Miami Hurricane Veterans Come to the Aid of Southwest Florida Parishes

by Frank Marques, Member-40263

Fort Lauderdale, August 17 – Lead by Miami Catholic Charities CEO, Dr. Richard Trucotte, a convoy of trucks driven by Hurricane Andrew veterans departed the Archdiocese of Miami’s administrative offices early today, bound for several hurricane stricken Diocese of Venice parishes in Southwest Florida.

In a telephone interview with Mary Ross Agosta, Miami Archdiocesan Communications Director, the trucks were sent with materiel bound for parishes in hard-hit Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte and Arcadia, Florida.

Though the trucks contained many day-to-day items, needed by residents who find themselves suddenly homeless after Category 4 Hurricane Charley made landfall near Port Charlotte the afternoon of August 13, according to Agosta, “monetary contributions are now encouraged, from our own experiences following Hurricane Andrew”.

Agosta also explained that Miami Archbishop John C. Favalora has given approval to a special second collection taken at all Masses in the Archdiocese the weekend of August 21 and 22 for those in the Diocese of Venice affected by Hurricane Charley.

In hard-hit Southwest Florida, Gail McGrath, spokeswoman for Catholic Charities at the Diocese of Venice in Venice, Florida, indicated in a telephone interview that the parishes with damage are: Sacred Heart Parish in Punta Gorda; St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Port Charlotte, and St. Paul Parish in rural Arcadia, Florida.

Indicating the severity of damage, Sunday Mass was celebrated at Sacred Heart Parish, despite an entire wall missing from the one side of the church building.

McGrath stated that “tent cities have been erected next to these churches for parishioners and non-parishioners”, with meals and a place to sleep being offered to those who have nowhere else to go at this time.

According to McGrath, those wishing to make a monetary contribution to the Diocese of Venice have two options available to them at this time:

Contributions can be mailed directly to the Diocese of Venice at the following address:

Diocese of Venice
Hurricane Relief Fund
1000 Pinebrook Road
Venice, Florida 34285

McGrath also indicated that a relief fund has been established at Wachovia Bank branches nationwide, and contributions can be made by indicating that the deposit is for the Diocese of Venice.

Memories of a Hurricane Victim

by Frank Marques, Member-40263

The above photograph was taken of my Miami home just 24 hours after Hurricane Andrew devastated South Dade County, August 24, 1992.

Similar to the victims of Hurricane Charley, the day this photo was taken my mind was a whirlwind of stress and confusion – where will I live? Will I be separated from my job, my friends, or my family?

I vividly remember having to drive on neighbors’ front lawns just to reach my own house, the constant wail of sirens from emergency vehicles traveling slowly through the blocked streets, the noise from hovering helicopters overhead, and the words of my confused neighbors.

Compounding the above was the draining heat and humidity of that day and the injury that came when sifting through what remained, and the overwhelming desire to flee and leave the terrible situation far behind.

In seeing the same confusion on the faces of those affected by Hurricane Charley, the following words of Jesus come to mind:

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)


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