Hurricane Irene

August 30, 2011


Beloved in Christ,

At this time we find ourselves in the aftermath of a hurricane.  The days and weeks following the impact of a hurricane are often a time of recovery, restoration and an attempt to return to our normal way of life.  It is often an unsettled and uncertain time.

We are aware of the extent of the damage that was done by Hurricane Irene to private property and public infrastructure on some of our islands.  We are also aware of how vulnerable we are in the face of one of nature’s most destructive forces.  Still these are times when the gifts of faith and hope provide us with the light, the vision and the will to move forward, certain that God’s protective hand will lead us through these challenging days.

These are times when we should be most mindful that we are our brothers and sisters keepers.  We must remember that we stand together in solidarity in our moments of need.  When one part of the body which is our Bahamian community is hurting, we all in some way share in the pain.

The damage done to some of our churches, rectories and schools throughout the islands was real but not overwhelming.  It has been our practice to encourage a culture of preparation for hurricanes.  We know so well that hurricanes are very much a fact of life in this part of the world which is our home.

As a part of our preparation, the Catholic Archdiocesan Annual Appeal provides a disaster relief fund which will be used to assist persons and restore property. This fund will need to be supplemented.  For that reason I am asking that a special collection be taken in each of our parishes on the weekend of September 10th and 11th, 2011.  This collection is intended for the Archdiocesan Hurricane Irene Relief efforts. 

Last year we were spared hurricanes altogether.  This year we were visited by the very first major hurricane of the season.  We cannot predict when a storm will come or how much damage it will do.  Our task is to remain prepared and remain hopeful, bearing in mind that the Lord whom we know and worship is the Lord who calmed the storm and left many amazed that even wind and sea obey him. (Mark 4:35-41) 

The people of the city of New Orleans like us have been affected by hurricanes and have developed a firm and deep devotion to the Blessed Mother.  They revere her as Our Lady of Prompt Assistance (Succor) to those in peril and in great need.  We pray for her to protect us as well.

May our Lord who calmed wind and sea and restored peace and harmony in nature, restore peace in our hearts, our homes and our communities.


Devotedly yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Patrick C. Pinder, S.T.D., C.M.G.

Archbishop of Nassau