Catholics in more than 100 parish churches around the metropolitan New Orleans area were asked for donations to support fishing families and others pushed out of work by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Archdiocese of New Orleans said.
In addition, Archbishop Gregory Aymond asked the region's nearly 400,000 Catholics to pray for relief to Our Lady of Prompt Succor, whom Catholics regard as the patroness of the region and protector against natural calamity.
Aymond told pastors to take up special collections anytime over the next three weeks. The money will go to the archdiocese's Catholic Charities arm, which has already begun distributing relief to affected families in St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes.
In a letter to all the parishes of his archdiocese he asked for prayers for all the victims of the blast on the oil rig that occurred on April 20. He encouraged prayers for those who died, those injured, and their families, that “God may give them peace in their time of crisis.”
“Pray too for those working to clean up the oil spill and for those that will be adversely affected by the effects of the spill.”