Bishop Soto asks prayers for all those affected by wildfires; donations accepted for those in need, special collection to be taken up in parishes for relief and recovery efforts

In light of the fires burning in Shasta, Trinity, Lassen, Sutter, Colusa and other counties, Bishop Jaime Soto has asked the faithful of the Diocese of Sacramento to remember in their prayers all those affected, especially the firefighters and emergency personnel, as well as residents who have been displaced, lost their residences or evacuated. Please keep all those communities affected by fires in your prayers and pray for those suffering loss during this catastrophic event.

On Aug. 13, Bishop Soto announced a special collection for Northern California relief and recovery efforts. "We turn now in solidarity to the needs of our brothers and sisters in Redding and Shasta/Trinity counties as they struggle to heal and rebuild their lives and their community in the wake of the recent wildfires," he said.

Parishes in the diocese wishing to conduct a second collection to assist the fire relief and recovery effort may do so during liturgies on the fourth Sunday in August (Aug. 25-26) or the first Sunday in September (Sept. 1-2). These funds will be used to assist the rebuilding efforts already under way in Redding, Shasta, Trinity, Sutter and Lassen counties to assist families affected by the fires.

Bishop Soto visited Redding on Sunday, July 29 (see above photo) to assure the community of his prayers and support during and after the Carr Fire. He met with staff at Dignity Health Mercy Medical Center in Redding and also celebrated an evening Mass at St. Joseph Parish for all those affected by the fires. 

Bishop Soto added words of consolation and prayer for those affected by the fires: “Our hearts ache over the terrible loss and suffering experienced by those of you who have lost homes. We pray that you do not lose hope. Trust in God’s abiding presence and mercy. May our support and prayers accompany you in these days. We pray, too, for the brave men and women who are responding to these disasters, battling the fires and we call upon God for favorable weather to assist them. May all those who have died as a result of this natural devastation be granted eternal repose in the merciful hands of the Lord Jesus.”

Containment on the three-week-old Carr Fire grew overnight on Aug. 14 to 65 percent, Cal Fire officials said on the morning of Aug. 14. The fire has now burned 207,162 acres, up slightly from 206,816 acres Monday evening. There is still no estimate when full containment is expected on the fire. The fire has destroyed nearly 1,100 homes and a total of 1,599 structures, making it the most destructive fire in Shasta County history and the sixth-most destructive in state history.

Northern Valley Catholic Social Service (NVCSS) in Redding and the local St. Vincent de Paul Society Council and parish conferences are working together with local community partners to help those in need.

Parishioners wishing to donate money to assist those in need may do so in the following ways:

  • Donate by mail: Send checks to Diocese of Sacramento Fire Assistance Fund, 2110 Broadway, Sacramento, CA 95818
  • Donate by phone: Call The Catholic Foundation at (916) 733-0266
  • Donate online: Visit www.scd.org/donate and choose the Fire Assistance Fund

In photo above, Bishop Soto celebrates Mass July 29 with priests, deacons and parishioners at St. Joseph Parish in Redding. Amy Jensen photo