Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Flooding prompts plea for prayers, donations

By  Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Canadian Catholic News
  • May 19, 2021

SASKATOON -- The spring break-up on the Mackenzie and Liard rivers has caused historic and devastating levels of flooding in the Northwest Territories, including several communities in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith.

“Particularly hard hit has been Fort Simpson, where over 700 people have been evacuated, and Jean Marie River which was completely inundated by the river waters,” says Bishop Jon Hansen of Mackenzie-Fort Smith in a recent Facebook post.

“While we can be grateful that there has been no loss of life, the property loss and the trauma caused by dislocation and anxiety is incalculable,” says Hansen.

Bishop Mark Hagemoen — who served as bishop of the Diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith before his appointment as bishop of Saskatoon — has been in touch with Hansen and others from his former diocese.

“The flood of the massive Mackenzie River is unlike ever seen before,” said Hagemoen. “This is affecting all of the communities along the Mackenzie River, from Fort Providence, and potentially all the way to Inuvik. The most devastated are the communities of Jean Marie River and Fort Simpson.”

Hansen is asking for prayers and for financial support.

“I would ask that you please pray for all those who have been affected by the flooding or are waiting downstream and preparing for the flood waters to arrive,” Hansen said in his Facebook message.

Throughout the northern diocese a special “second collection” was taken up in aid of flood relief.

“Between the pandemic and the floods, we are all under great stress these days determining the best way to cope,” added the bishop in his message to the diocese. “Please take time to care for yourself the best you can and place your trust in God. May the strength we gain by drawing together as a community sustain us in the days ahead.”

Those who would like to donate online can use the Diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith Canada Helps link and indicate that your donation is for Flood Relief.

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