On Dec. 30, a wildfire ripped through the towns of Louisville and Superior in Boulder County and destroyed an estimated 1,000 homes in what is the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history. Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila has issued the following statement in response, and announced the launch of a relief fund:
The wildfires that suddenly started yesterday and spread through more than 6,000 acres of the northwest metro Denver towns of Superior and Louisville have shocked everyone. Hundreds of people, including parishioners of St. Louis, Sacred Heart of Mary and Immaculate Conception have lost their homes and need our support.
To those affected by these fires, know that Joseph and Mary had to flee with Jesus, shortly after he was born. The Holy Family is close to you and knows the anguish and loss you are feeling. You are in my prayers and the prayers of our faithful throughout the archdiocese. Know that I am asking our parishes and entities to help in whatever ways they can, including hosting those who are displaced, opening food pantries and engaging Knights of Columbus councils for volunteers.
As we approach the Sunday liturgy this weekend, I am also asking that all Catholics in the archdiocese pray during the Prayers of the Faithful for all who have been impacted and to consider giving to a special collection that will be taken during Masses on the weekend of January 8-9. Donations from this collection will be put into a special fund that will be distributed through parishes in the affected region. Thanks to the generosity of the faithful to this year’s Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal, the archdiocese will be contributing $250,000 to the fund.
While it is still too soon to understand the full scope of the impact, we do know that at least two of our parishes have had to evacuate — St. Louis in Louisville and Sacred Heart of Mary in Boulder. Fortunately, neither of them has burned down. We are especially grateful that it appears no one has died in this fire, which is a testament to the quick action taken by our first responders to the fire and the threat to life and property.
May God continue to protect the first responders fighting the fires and comfort all who have been affected by them.
To make a donation to the Marshall Fire Recovery Assistance fund, click here.