Pope Francis expresses his condolences for the victims of a tornado which struck the Gaylord community in Michigan, US, and for the loss of life caused by storms in southeastern Canada.
By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis said he is saddened to learn of the tragic loss of life and destruction caused by the tornado which struck the Gaylord community in recent days.
In a telegram addressed to Bishop Jeffrey J. Walsh of Gaylord, a city of about 4,200 people west of Detroit in the US State of Michigan, the Pope expressed heartfelt solidarity with all affected by this natural disaster.
In the message signed on his behalf by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, the Pope said he “also offers the assurance of prayers for the dead, the injured and displaced and those engaged in relief efforts,” and he invoked God’s blessings of strength and peace on all those affected.
Friday’s tornado killed two people, injured more than 40 others, knocked out electricity, and flattened parts of the northern Michigan community where such extreme weather conditions are rare.
Storms in Canada
In a separate telegram addressed to Bishop Raymond Poisson, President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Pope said he has been informed of the recent storms that struck southeastern Canada resulting in the loss of life and widespread destruction.
Offering his prayers “for all who are suffering the effects of this calamity,” he said he “commends the souls of the deceased to the loving mercy of almighty God and assures the injured and those who grieve of his spiritual closeness.”
Pope Francis concluded by invoking blessings of strength and consolation upon his brother bishops in the affected areas and upon the civil authorities who continue to provide needed assistance.