WASHINGTON (September 12, 2005) - Spokane Bishop William S. Skylstad, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), announced today that he has asked Houston Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza and Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory to be his liaison with New Orleans Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes and Mobile Archbishop Oscar H. Lipscomb and the bishops of all the dioceses damaged in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Bishop Skylstad said that he was asking Archishop Fiorenza and Archbishop Gregory to take this role to assure that he is personally kept aware of the ways in which the USCCB can best serve the needs of the local archdioceses and dioceses over the long range. Bishop Skylstad is also asking Archishop Fiorenza and Archbishop Gregory to offer very direct, personal, and individual support to the bishops of the region as they go about the task of caring for the needs of survivors, consoling those who have lost loved ones, and rebuilding their diocesan ministries.
"We bishops must not forget the importance of supporting our brother bishops and letting them know that we are with them as they the face the daunting task ahead of serving their people in such great need."
Archbishop Fiorenza will relate primarily to Archbishop Hughes and the bishops of Louisiana and Archbishop Gregory to Archbishop Lipscomb and the bishops of Mississippi and Alabama.
Both Archbishop Fiorenza and Archbishop Gregory are former USCCB presidents who head archdioceses proximate to the areas of greatest damage. Both archdioceses are participating extensively in relief activities.