By Marnie McAllister and Catholic News Service
Catholic Charities of Louisville is accepting donations for people affected by deadly tornadoes in Texas and Oklahoma earlier this week.
Contributions earmarked for tornado relief may be sent to Catholic Charities, 2911 S. Fourth St., Louisville, Ky., 40208. Funds will be forwarded to Catholic Charities USA.
Parishes also are encouraged to hold special collections for relief and forward contributions to Catholic Charities.
A massive tornado destroyed the town of Moore, Okla., near Oklahoma City, on May 20, directly hitting two elementary schools full of children. The twister left a 20-mile path of death and destruction in its wake. As of early May 21, news reports were saying 91 people, including 20 children, had died.
And on May 15, several tornadoes ripped through parts of north Texas and killed six, injured more than 100 and destroyed more than 50 homes and trailers.
As the death toll in Oklahoma rose on May 21, Pope Francis offered a special prayer for the victims during his early morning Mass and later offered his condolences through his Twitter account.
“Let us pray for the victims — at least 50 of them — and the missing, especially the children, struck by the violent tornado that hit Oklahoma City yesterday. Hear us, O Lord,” the pope said during the prayers of the faithful.
“I am close to the families of all who died in the Oklahoma tornado, especially those who lost young children. Join me in praying for them,” he told the 2.5 million people who follow his English-language Twitter account and the 2.4 million who follow his Spanish-language account.