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Edmonton Catholic's Response to Fort McMurray Disaster


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As always, I am overwhelmed with the amazing response from all staff as everyone wants to help those displaced by the Fort McMurray fire!  We have just received word that Edmonton Emergency Services at 10255-104 Street is accepting the following items for victims of the fire:

  • New Generic clothing for all sizes​​ *
  • New Shoes for all sizes *
  • New Pillows *
  • New Blankets *
  • Diapers
  • Baby Wipes
  • New toiletries
  • New socks and underwear
  • Packing and masking tape
  • Boxes
  • Garbage bags
  • Hangers

* Denotes ​New items needed

We are coordinating a pick-up of these items from our schools and sites during the week of May 9th to 13th.  If you collect any items, our Facilities people will pick them up from schools/sites and deliver to Edmonton Emergency Relief Services.  When you are ready to have the items picked up next week, email Colleen Pasay at Facilities Services; – items will be picked up until end of day Friday, May 13th.

Thank you!

Joan Carr

Reverend Fathers and Parish Colleagues,​

We are all shocked and saddened by the sudden destruction caused by the wildfire in Fort McMurray. At this time, it is so important that we lift up urgent prayers for our sisters and brothers in the Diocese of St. Paul.​

The situation is grave and still developing, but Bishop Paul Terrio has advised that the flames were threatening the St. Paul Parish Church in Fort McMurray, and of course we know many homes have been destroyed.

I am writing to request that special collections be taken up in the parishes of the Archdiocese of Edmonton at masses this weekend and on the weekend of May 13-14, in support of the people of Fort McMurray. We ask that you forward the proceeds directly to the Diocese of St. Paul at 4410 – 51 Ave., St. Paul, AB  T0A 3A2, marking the cheque for Fire Relief.  The Diocese of St Paul will split the proceeds in half, between the Fort McMurray parishioners and the Fort McMurray Ministerial Association to be distributed to any local residents in need.​

Bishop Terrio advises that any monies received by St. Paul Diocese for this relief effort will be accounted for and their use indicated.

Please let your parishioners know they can also donate directly to relief for fire victims through the Red Cross.

I am aware that some of our parishes have already joined the efforts to collect goods and clothing to donate to the displaced Fort McMurray residents, and I am grateful for your generous efforts. We understand that the immediate need for evacuees is for personal toiletries, diapers, and bottled water.  Corpus Christi Parish in southeast Edmonton is hosting a drop-off station where these items will be retrieved by Edmonton Transit for delivery to evacuees.  We will be happy to share any other parish initiatives through the archdiocesan Twitter and Facebook accounts.

In the meantime, here in our own Archdiocese, wildfire has also broken out near the Alexis Nakota Sioux First Nation, and evacuations have begun. Please keep our people at Alexis in your prayers as well; we will keep you posted on that situation as it develops.

Sincerely in Christ,

Richard W. Smith
Archbishop of Edmonton​​

May 5, 2016

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

We are all shocked and saddened by the sudden destruction caused by the wildfire in Fort McMurray, located in our sister Diocese of St. Paul.

The situation is grave and still developing, but Bishop Paul Terrio has advised that the flames were threatening at least one church in Fort McMurray, and of course we know many homes and other buildings have been destroyed. Across Alberta, and indeed across Canada, the outpouring of offers to help has been remarkable. The spontaneous generosity to the people of Fort McMurray demonstrates that the desire to be merciful resides deep in the human heart.

As part of our own response, and in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who have been affected by this disaster, I am asking parishioners to contribute to special second collections at Masses this weekend and on the weekend of May 13-14. Proceeds will be forwarded to the Diocese of St. Paul, where they will be shared equally between the Fort McMurray parishioners and the Fort McMurray Ministerial Association to be distributed to any local residents in need.
I encourage all parishioners in the Archdiocese of Edmonton also to consider making direct donations to relief for fire victims through the Red Cross. These donations will be particularly impactful, since they will be matched by both the Alberta and the federal governments.

Above all, I invite you to join me in offering urgent prayers for the needs of all those affected by the wildfire disaster: those who have been displaced from their homes, the first responders and volunteers who are serving them, and all those working so hard to bring the situation under control. May the Lord of Mercy offer them His infinite grace and protection.

Sincerely in Christ,

Richard W. Smith
Archbishop of Edmonton​

The following is a prayer from our District Chaplian, Father Julian Bilyj:

Prayer for the Families of Fort McMurray​

Gracious God, we come to you trusting in your mercy and knowing that your steadfast love endures forever.
Look with mercy on all our brothers and sisters from Fort McMurray who have suffered the destruction of their homes and properties caused by wildfires.

Grant them your strength to meet the days ahead. Allow those who are affected to experience your peace which passes all understanding and new hope in the resurrection. Move in those who are able to give aid, that we may be your hands and heart on the earth. Deliver any who are still in danger and bring hope and healing that we may find relief and restoration.

Give all the families of Fort McMurray the assurance of your presence, ease their fears and make your presence known in the tranquility of your peace. Amen.

How you can help

We have just received word that Edmonton Emergency Services at 10255-104 Street is accepting the following items for victims of the fire:

Message from our Superintendent

Thank you to everyone who has reached out to find out how you can help support the efforts to assist the people of Fort McMurray during this disaster.

We want to ensure that all of our effort are supportive of the expert agencies who are managing this emergency.

We are currently waiting for direction from the Alberta Emergency Management Agency’s Provincial Command Centre, Alberta Education, and the Canadian Red Cross as to what they require of us to meet their needs.

If you are looking to do something immediately, the Canadian Red Cross has set up a donation site for the Alberta Fires Emergency Appeal at .

If you are contacted for shelter, please redirect those people to the Reception Centre at Northlands until we receive further direction from the province.

We will be accepting all students from Fort McMurray who want to register in our schools to continue their education with as little interruption as possible.  Please have families with students from Kindergarten to Grade 9 contact One World...One Centre at 780 944 2001, and they will facilitate the registration of students.  High school students should call Sacred Heart Centre at 780 944 2000 for registration. 

We will update our public website throughout the day with information as we receive it.    I will also update you throughout the day by email as we learn more.

Thank you again for your prayers and offers of support.  You have embodied the mercy which our Holy Father has called us to in the Jubilee Year of Mercy!

Joan Carr

A Blessing for the People of Fort McMurray​

May God keep you and preserve you from all perils, May God keep your body and soul.
​Blessed be your way on the roads and paths you go.  May you go in the peace of God.
May the Holy Spirit preserve you.  May God hold his hands upon you. 
May God’s angel be with you and always be at your side. 
May the moon and sun shine upon you and make your way bright. 
May the love of God and the love of all be with you.


(Adapted from Blessed be Your Way, 600 Prayers and Blessings from Around the World)​