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News October 20, 2014

From Bishop Farrell's Blog: We help because we are Catholic

Bishop Farrell discusses the decision to house Ms. Louise Troh, her son and nephews at the Catholic Conference and Formation Center in Dallas.

I am sure that some of you have heard the news that Ms. Louise Troh, her son and nephews are now out of the 21-day quarantine period for Ebola. We thank God that they are now and have always been symptom free. You may remember that Ms. Troh was the fiancée of Thomas Eric Duncan, who lost his battle with Ebola on October 8th, and that they have been housed in a “secret location” for the last couple of weeks.  I can today tell you that Ms. Troh and her family found refuge at our diocesan Conference and Formation Center in Oak Cliff where they stayed in one of the casas in a remote corner on the grounds.

I was asked by reporters this morning why I said yes to the request from Mayor Mike Rawlings and Judge Clay Jenkins to offer housing for Ms. Troh and her family.  I told them that I did pause to think of all of the possibilities but that when I asked myself “What would Jesus do?” I knew that we had to help.  Certainly, the Catholic Church has a long history of helping those in need and Ms. Troh and her family were and remain in need.  Another reporter referenced the fact that the family is not Catholic.  I explained that we don’t help because someone is Catholic, we help because we are Catholic and that is what we are called to do.

During the quarantine, we cancelled all retreats and activities at the Conference and Formation Center.  I know this caused a hardship for some of you who had events planned there.   I apologize for any difficulty this caused for those who had to cancel or find other locations.  I hope you will understand that this was an emergency humanitarian aid situation that had to take priority.  I also want to say a special thank you to Deacon Jessie Olivarez, who as Center director did an outstanding job during this period of quarantine.  The city/county have graciously offered to thoroughly clean the facilities and the center has resumed normal operation.

Finally, I will tell you that I visited and prayed with Ms. Troh this morning and she expressed her profound gratitude to the diocese for providing shelter for her family.  I ask that you continue to pray for her and her family as they continue to mourn the loss of Mr. Duncan and prepare to find a permanent residence and move on with their lives.

Thank you for your prayers and understanding.