Diocese of Knoxville parishes raise more than $400,000 for disaster relief

Bishop Richard F. Stika has announced distributions for recent collections to assist hurricane and earthquake victims in the United States, the Caribbean, and Mexico.

By Jim Wogan

Through the generosity of its 51 parishes and mission churches, the Diocese of Knoxville raised more than $400,000 through a series of special collections that were initiated in late August and continued through late September.

“This gift of more than $400,000 shows that a small diocese of 68,000 Catholics can come together in a very powerful and positive way. I want to thank our pastors, priests, and all of our parishioners in the Diocese of Knoxville for contributing financially, and with prayers, to help people when they need it most,” Bishop Richard F. Stika said.

“At the same time, I recognize a current tragedy has resulted in the loss of lives and property in California. I ask for your prayers for the fire victims — and that you remember the goodness that came out of a similar tragedy in our region last year.”

Hurricane Harvey struck the Caribbean and the U.S. Gulf Coast in late August, leaving at least 89 people dead. In September, Hurricane Irma swept through the Caribbean and into Florida, killing more than 130 people, followed by Hurricane Maria, which devastated the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other areas of the Caribbean. Nearly 70 deaths have been attributed to Hurricane Maria. The storms caused billions of dollars in damages.

The death toll from a Sept. 19 earthquake in Mexico has surpassed 350, with extensive and widespread damage to homes, schools, churches, and other buildings.

The distributions from the Diocese of Knoxville on behalf of its parishioners:

Hurricane Harvey/ USCCB and Catholic Charities U.S.A.: $51,000

Hurricane Irma/ USCCB and Catholic Charities U.S.A.: $51,000

Diocese of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands: $130,000

Diocese of San Juan, Puerto Rico: $130,000

Archdiocese of Mexico City: $40,000

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