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Prayers and Donation Drives for Maui Relief

August 14, 2023

From the Office for Social Ministry

As wildfires continue to ravage upcountry and West Maui, we pray for all those impacted by the disaster that has resulted in at least 96 fatalities so far, displaced thousands of persons, and destroyed more than hundreds of structures. So far there are 96 fatalities confirmed. In the aftermath of this catastrophic tragedy, Pope Francis, along with the whole world, offered prayers for the dead, injured and displaced, as well as for the first responders and emergency personnel.

Bishop Larry Silva, who just returned from the World Youth Day in Portugal, traveled to Maui to console the suffering there and addressed the Diocese, delivering a message of solace, along with Msgr. Terry Watanabe, Vicar of Maui, saying: “As a community of faith, we are called to come together and provide unwavering support to those who are suffering. It is in times like these that our collective love, faith, and compassion can make a tremendous difference.” The Diocese has set up a donation fund account through the non-profit Hawaii Catholic Community Foundation (HCCF) to “lend a hand to those who have lost so much.” Please visit the following link to contribute to the Hawaii Catholic Community Foundation fund for Maui Fires Relief https://tinyurl.com/MauiCatholic.

We are grateful to see so much generosity pouring in from the entire local community, who have rallied to support those in need. Within hours of the devastation, Mental Health America of Hawaii sent out information about resource materials for those seeking relief in the face of disaster (see https://officeforsocialministry.org/disaster-distress-resources/Diocese staff hastened to locate parishioners in trouble while volunteers across all islands hustled to organize impromptu donation drives for emergency supplies. For instance, shipping company P&R Water Taxi, with support from the Boy Scouts, ILWU, Hawaii Stevedores, Pasha Hawaii, and Young Brothers, helped coordinate a “Fill Da Boat” initiative within a day after the tragic fires. The Oahu community turned out in solidarity, gathering goods and non-perishable foods to fill the boat in a 6-hour period so that essential supplies could be delivered to Kahului harbor the very next morning. These relief boats are going to continue to collect items and go to Maui this week. For more information on how to be involved, please contact John Fielding at 808 306-6878.

In the words Bishop Larry: “May we find the grace to rebuild our families, their livelihoods, and the physical structures that were lost. Let our faith guide us as we navigate the challenges ahead, knowing that with the grace of God, all things are possible. May God bless you all abundantly, and may our efforts bring comfort and hope to those in need. Maria Lanakila (Our Lady of Victory), pray for us!” To read the Bishop’s full letter, please click HERE.