The tragedy of the flood continues
Fr Piotr Nowosielski
Heavy rain, especially on 7 August 2010, caused the local rivers to overflow and many places were flooded. Bishop Stefan Cichy of Legnica asked for a prayerful and material support for those affected by flood. On Sunday 8th August Bishop Stefan Cichy spoke on Radio Plus, ‘There was no big flood here but heavy rain caused the disaster. Heavy rain caused small rivers to overflow and yesterday we experienced floods. I hope we will have people of good will who will help the flood-stricken. Our branch of Caritas is making such an appeal. You can bring goods to its offices and you can also bring gifts to your parish churches because we need long-term help because many people have lost all their properties. I express compassion for all of those affected by flood. I am praying for them and I will also ask pilgrims from our diocese to pray when they reach Jasna Gora on Monday.
The Bishop of Legnica joined the pilgrims in the last stage of their walk. It turned out that the pilgrims did not only pray for people affected by flood but also gave them the Mass collection. They gathered 5,100 zloty.
Do not let brothers down
‘I appeal to support those affected by flood’, said the director of the diocesan Caritas Msgr. Czeslaw Wlodarczyk. ‘There are many people in our diocese who have lost their flats; others have lost their work places and as we can hear some people lost their lives. The churches in the flood-stricken areas have been damaged. At the moment those affected by flood need food and mineral water. I ask and appeal for help so that we can offer temporary help and then help people rebuild their houses,’ the director of Caritas added.
Inhabitants from various parishes have reacted spontaneously. ‘When we heard the first news about the flood many inhabitants of Zgorzelec provided shelter to the inhabitants of Bogatynia who had to stay in our city because the road to Bogatynia was closed,’ says Rev. Canon Maciej Wesolowski, the dean of Zgorzelec. Today, in the churches in our town, located ca. 40 km from Bogatynia, we have made an appeal for help. We have offered a place when people can bring goods and we will transport them to those affected by flood.’
The first help was given by the parishes of Lwowek Slaski and Lubomierz. They gathered goods on Sunday. The Caritas branches in the Dioceses of Zielona Gora-Gorzow, Gliwice, Poznan, Lowicz and the Archdiocese of Warsaw, which sent their gathered goods first.
Let us rebuild the churches
The flood affected some parishes. In Sieniawka Dolna the filial church in Porajow was flooded to the height of 2.20 m. The church in Radomierzyce was flooded. The chapel in Markocice, the filial parish of St Maximilian Kolbe’s church in Bogatynia, was damaged. The flood damaged some cemeteries, too.
‘One should remember that besides Bogatynia, which was most frequently mentioned by the media, the inhabitants of other places have been affected as well’, Fr Czeslaw Wlodarczyk adds. ‘For example, Lesna and its surroundings where 318 families were flood-stricken. 11 places have been flooded and rivers overflowed in 30 places. We are bringing help there.’
On Friday 13th August, the Bishop of Legnica celebrated Mass in the intention of those affected by flood. Help is still being offered by Caritas, parishes and associations. Moreover, individual people are organising help. They do not want the flood-stricken people feel forsaken.