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Houston cardinal on prayer amid Harvey: ‘We have to wake up Jesus in the boat!’

Although Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston says the people of his sprawling archdiocese are long accustomed to strong rainfall, nothing has prepared them for the beating the city is taking from Hurricane Harvey, the impact of which he described as “cosmic.”

“The church is coping, but the situation for the people is a total disaster,” DiNardo said Monday.

“The flooding is not here or there, it’s everywhere. In addition, along the Brazos River, in a county called Fort Bend County, the river is overflowing. They’ve had to have immediate evacuations of up to 50,000, 60,000 people down there in those communities,” he said.

“The people of Houston, I have to say, are rather resilient, but this is really stretching them,” said DiNardo, who is also the current president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

As Dinardo said he told his seminarians on Monday, “I think we have to wake up Jesus in the boat!”

One of those people being stretched at the moment actually is DiNardo himself, who, despite his itch to get out into the field and be with his flock, finds himself stranded at Houston’s St. Mary Seminary where he lives because roads out are presently under water.

“To add insult to injury,” he said, “the electricity went out yesterday!”

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