Throughout much of the month of June, Colorado and other Western states have been beset by wildfires, including the Waldo Canyon blaze in Colorado Springs that is the most destructive fire in state history, killing two people, destroying around 350 homes and forcing the evacuations of thousands. All told, six people have died in the fires. 

Catholic communities in Colorado have felt the effects of the disaster, with neighborhoods around parishes being evacuated and Masses at four parishes in the Colorado Springs diocese being cancelled. The weekend of June 30-July 1, parishes throughout the diocese held a second collection to aid in fire relief. “Together with the Catholic faithful of the Diocese of Colorado Springs, I offer prayers for everyone who has been affected and, in some cases displaced, by the Waldo Canyon wildfire,” Colorado Springs Bishop Michael J. Sheridan said in a June 26 statement. 

Here are images of the Waldo Canyon blaze and of Catholics tending to the physical and spiritual needs of victims. All photos are courtesy of The Colorado Catholic Herald.

waldo canyon prayer
Bishop Michael J. Sheridan of Colorado Springs, Colo., holds a Holy Hour to pray for those affected by the Waldo Canyon fire at St. Mary’s Cathedral. About 80 faithful attended the prayer service. Courtesy of The Colorado Catholic Herald
fire sign
Despite the devastation they faced, Colorado Springs residents are determined to rebuild after the Waldo Canyon fire. Courtesy of The Colorado Catholic Herald
catholic charities
Catholic Charities of Central Colorado provides meals to evacuees. At its peak, the agency provided 800 daily breakfasts. Courtesy of The Colorado Catholic Herald
waldo canyon smoke
Smoke billows from the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs. Courtesy of The Colorado Catholic Herald
knights of columbus
The Knights of Columbus host a pancake breakfast for evacuees in Corpus Christi Catholic Church’s parish hall. Courtesy of The Colorado Catholic Herald