Cross Catholic Outreach Responds to Hurricane Dorian Disaster

Hurricane Dorian, the fourth named hurricane of the 2019 season, tied the record for the most powerful hurricane to make landfall in the Bahamas. At its most powerful, Hurricane Dorian was listed as a Category 5 hurricane, peaking with sustained winds of 185 mph and generating destructive gusts over 220 mph. In addition to unleashing massive flooding across the Bahamas, Hurricane Dorian completely destroyed numerous homes and buildings, wiping out entire neighborhoods and leaving many homeless and in need of immediate assistance.

Cross Catholic Outreach teamed up with Catholic Charities of Miami and the Archdiocese of Nassau to provide much-needed food and medical supplies to help the many affected families and children. This approach to addressing needs through partnerships is a respected characteristic of Cross Catholic Outreach activities. Our ministry prides itself on empowering rather than replacing existing Catholic programs, and this gives the in-country Catholic leaders much more control and flexibility in responding to the challenges their parishes and people face.

“The impact of this storm was frightening. Many coastline communities and roads were under water, homes were destroyed and lives were lost. At desperate times like that, the Church needs to be a source of hope — and to do that, they need resources and funding. That’s where generous donors and Cross Catholic Outreach come in. We can supply the Catholic leaders in the Bahamas with the specific items they need to help the community’s neediest families,” said Jim Cavnar, president of Cross Catholic Outreach. In the case of a disaster of this scope, it will take teamwork and many sources of help to provide both initial relief and the kind of rebuilding efforts necessary for years after such a storm. “Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami is happy to partner with Cross Catholic Outreach to, at the appropriate time, order, ship, receive, clear and distribute needed relief supplies to the programs, partners and parishes of the Archdiocese of Nassau, Bahamas,” explained Peter Routsis-Arroyo, CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami. In the first stage of its relief plan, Cross Catholic Outreach has provided cash grants to Catholic Charities of Miami and the Archdiocese of Nassau and arranged significant shipments of food and hygiene kits to help families in the impacted islands.

“It’s important to address hunger with nutrient-rich meals,” explained Cavnar. “The scientifically formulated food we are shipping will go a long way in keeping people healthy as they face the stresses and hardships ahead. And we can’t forget the other issues the poor will face in the months ahead either. Homes will have to be repaired or constructed. Schools and clinics will need help. People in these areas will have lost almost everything, and they’ll need the Church’s support to get back on their feet again.”