Escaping World Youth Day, missing from home

By most accounts, World Youth Day in Australia and the corresponding Days in the Diocese program in Australia and New Zealand last month were successful. But the unexpected disappearance of several young pilgrims from Myanmar and India left their youth ministers upset and surprised. 

The Asian church news agency UCA News published a commentary on the five youths who failed to return to Myanmar. The author expressed sadness over the selfishness of those who stayed in Australia illegally.

The NZ Catholic, a client of Catholic News Service in New Zealand, covered the missing Indian pilgrims who failed to leave New Zealand after the Days in the Diocese program. Several stayed to work as illegal migrants on farms.

Check out stories on the topic here and here.

Need still great in Rio Grande Valley three weeks after Hurricane Dolly

A boat is blown into a building by Hurricane Dolly in Port Isabel, Texas, July 23. Dolly slammed into the south Texas coast with punishing rain and winds of 100 mph, blowing down signs, peeling off roofs and knocking out power to thousands. (CNS/Reuters)

A boat is blown into a building by Hurricane Dolly in Port Isabel, Texas, July 23. Dolly slammed into the south Texas coast with punishing rain and winds of 100 mph, blowing down signs, peeling off roofs and knocking out power to thousands. (CNS/Reuters)

While Hurricane Dolly has come and gone in the minds of most Americans, the storm’s impact continues to be felt in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.

Catholic Charities USA and partner Catholic Social Services in the Diocese of Brownsville are moving into a second phase of assistance for hundreds of people still in need of basic services three weeks after the storm. Food distribution and case management servies will move to three sites — Los Fresnos, Edinburg and Sebastian, Texas — during the first week of September.

In addition, the Catholic Social Services has opened a volunteer phone bank to call some 16,000 clients who utilized services in the days immediately after the storm hit Texas just north of the Mexican border July 23. CSS also has applied for funds to hire a disaster coordinator.

During the five days that CSS had opened numerous community resource sites in the most affected areas, 120,000 people received food, water and cleaning supplies, according to Catholic Charities USA. To date, more than 6,400 families have requested additional aid.

Also assisting in relief efforts were the American Red Cross, Feed the Children, Church World Services, Salvation Army and Food Bank RGV.

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