Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square March 14, 2018. / Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.
Denver Newsroom, May 24, 2022 / 14:20 pm (CNA).
Pope Francis expressed his closeness on Tuesday to the victims of a tornado that struck Gaylord last week, killing two people.
“Saddened to learn of the tragic loss of life and destruction caused by the tornado which struck the Gaylord community in recent days, His Holiness Pope Francis expresses heartfelt solidarity with all affected by this natural disaster,” a telegram sent May 24 on behalf of the pope stated.
“He also offers the assurance of prayers for the dead, the injured and displaced and those engaged in relief efforts,” the cable continued.
A tornado with winds of 150 mph struck the Michigan town May 20. More than 44 people were hospitalized as a result of the disaster.
Bishop Jeffrey Walsh of Gaylord said May 20, “Our prayerful solidarity is extended to all who have been affected by the afternoon storm. We are grateful to God that our diocesan and Cathedral staff came through the storm safely. Staff was sheltering in the basement as a tornado hit a few hundred yards away.”
He noted the chancery, cathedral, and St. Mary Cathedral school were spared damage.
“There will be much work to rebuild our community in the days, weeks and months ahead. Your prayers are appreciated,” Walsh added.
Parishes of the Diocese of Gaylord will take up a special collection May 28-29 to aid those affected by the tornado.
“As we work to restore and rebuild, the community response has been truly inspirational. Countless volunteers, utility workers, first responders and people from both Gaylord and outside the area have accomplished much already, and it is our hope to do our part as a Catholic community in providing spiritual and material assistance in the ongoing recovery efforts,” Walsh said May 23.