As Texas and Florida continue to rebuild from a devastating hurricane season, the Knights of Columbus are offering $1.4 million to aid the reconstruction of badly damaged churches.
“Getting parish facilities up and running again does not just meet a practical need,” said Knights CEO Carl Anderson. “The people in the affected areas see the revival of their churches as a spiritual joy and as an important signal of recovery for the larger communities that surround these churches.”
Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas on Aug. 25 and continued over the next five days, killing dozens and causing up to $180 billion in damage. The hurricane is believed to have affected 13 million people.
Not even a month after Harvey hit, Hurricane Irma tore through the Caribbean before making landfall on Sept. 10 and making its way through Georgia and the Carolinas. The hurricane was responsible for at least 134 deaths and caused billions of dollars in damage.
In Texas, $760,000 will be given by the Knights to seven churches to help the parishes rebuild. Another $690,000 will be given to six churches in Florida and Virgin Islands.
“The Knights of Columbus is committed to building up Catholic families and strengthening parish life,” said Anderson. “The effort to restore these much-needed houses of worship is appropriate for the Knights, who are most effective within the local parish structure of prayer and service to others.”
The organization raised $3.8 million for disaster relief following the storms. More than $720,000 was used to fund immediate post-storm assistance, covering food, water and shelter.
Many knights have also volunteered locally to help in their parishes communities following Harvey and Irma.
In addition, the Knights have donated $100,000 to repair and relief efforts in Puerto Rico, which is still struggling to recover after Hurricane Maria hit in September.
Founded by Venerable Father Michael McGivney, the Knights of Columbus began in New Haven, Connecticut in 1882. Today, they have 1.9 million members across the globe.
The Knights, who are the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization, also donated $6.7 million to aid dioceses throughout New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana in 2005.
Photo, U.S. National Guard, public domain: Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Texas.