Bush declares Sept. 16 as national prayer day for hurricane victims

By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- President George W. Bush declared Sept. 16 as a "national day of prayer and remembrance" for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

"A vast coastline of towns and communities has been decimated. Many lives have been lost, and hundreds of thousands of our fellow Americans are suffering great hardship," Bush said in a Sept. 8 proclamation announcing the prayer day.

"To honor the memory of those who lost their lives, to provide comfort and strength to the families of the victims, and to help ease the burden of the survivors, I call upon all Americans to pray to almighty God and to perform acts of service," he said.

Bush quoted Jesus' words in the Gospel: "For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in." He said such "selfless deeds reflect the promise of the Scripture."

He added, "Our nation is united in compassion for the victims, and in resolve to overcome the tremendous loss that has come to America. We will strive together in this effort, and we will prevail through perseverance and prayer."

Copyright (c) 2005 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

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