During hurricane Ian, Florida Bishop Frank Dewane of the Catholic Diocese of Venice was in his home when two huge branches crashed through his roof and into the ceiling of his living room. According to the National Catholic Register who interviewed the Bishop after the storm passed, he feels lucky to be alive and notes that many others fared much worse.
He’s correct. Much worse. Two Catholic churches, St. Isabel on Sanibel Island, and the Church of the Ascension in Fort Myers Beach were completely destroyed while many area parishes suffered extensive roofing and water damage.
Bishop Dewane related to the NCR reporters about a time shortly after Ian blew through at which he went to make the rounds of all the area parishes. Suddenly, the police asked him to move away from the area because bodies were beginning to float ashore from Sanibel Island. The Bishop commended local Floridians who, as soon as the storm subsided, took their own boats, canoes, and anything else that could float, into the murky waters to look for stranded neighbors. Surely, more were saved than lost.
He spoke about how aid began to flow into Florida from other states almost immediately, and how volunteers streamed into SW Florida from the upper States with water, supplies, and a helping hand. No doubt Bishop Gregory L. Parkes of St. Petersburg (Tampa), along with Bishop Dewane of Venice need your prayers.
The Florida experience after Ian has been comparable to the aftermath of Katrina in New Orleans in 2005 that took over 1,800 lives and caused $125 billion in damage. Ian took fewer lives (110 to date) and caused damages estimated from to be as much as $258 billion — surely the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history.
If you want to learn how we can help direct your support of financial donations to help the Dioceses in SW Florida in the wake of hurricane Ian, please contact us today.
To read the entire article on Bishop Dewane, see The National Catholic Register.