Kim Burgo, the senior director of the National Disaster Operations Office for Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), and our Keynote Speaker at this year’s Diocesan Stewardship Conference writes:
“We can wait no longer to embrace fully the call of the earth and the poor as one single cry for justice and solidarity. Pope Francis explicitly reminds us that the ‘deterioration of the environment and of society affects the most vulnerable people on the planet.' Catholic Charities USA affirms the veracity of this statement, an observable truth that is on display for all to see as both the intensity and the frequency of severe storms ravage our country and bruise and batter its poorest inhabitants.”
As one of five recipients of a CCUSA 3-year grant to build our capacity to respond to disasters in our local communities, especially for those most in need, our agency is taking this call very seriously. Over the past year, we have been assessing the needs and risk factors throughout southwest Kansas and building relationships with parishes and key partners so that we are better prepared to respond quickly, and for the long-term when disasters happen. Our work continues, and in addition to making disaster response part of the DNA of our agency, we are also eager to invite individuals, families, and parishes to participate in this call to plan, prepare and protect ourselves, our families, and especially the most vulnerable in our parishes and diocese when disaster strikes.
In addition to our Keynote Speaker who brings over 28 years of disaster experience, including more than 300 disasters throughout the US, we'll have sessions in English and Spanish to help you prepare yourself and your family for disaster, prepare resources, support vulnerable populations in a disaster, and know the role of the parish in disaster preparation.
The 2019 Diocesan Stewardship Conference is on Saturday, August 24th. Registration is at 9:30 am; the day ends with Mass at 5:00 p.m. We hope you'll join us for this informative day. It's not a matter of "if" but "when" the next disaster strikes, and we want everyone to make it through okay.