September 12, 2021

Dear parishioners and friends of our parish,

We have had a hard time here in New York City with last week’s hurricane Ida and its aftermath. Many of you have shared your
stories of how you weathered the storm and suffered the terrible flooding that damaged your homes and properties. Sadly, some
people in our metropolitan area even lost their lives.

Our parish facilities also experienced great damage. The rectory basement was completely flooded, with knee–deep water
inundating our elevator, storage room and the boiler room, causing permanent damages. The lower Church and the Institute
across the street also suffered severe flooding that required a professional clean–up and disinfection service. While the main
Church miraculously suffered no damage, the storm has exposed many weak areas in all of our parish’ eleven buildings that require
immediate attention.

On a personal level, the night of the storm itself has been tough for me and our priests. Being surrounded by the rising water
and seeing its destructive power was an experience difficult to put into words. Knowing that some lives have been lost, however,
gives our personal challenges a greater perspective and a sense of gratitude that we are alive and safe, and that what is damaged
can in time be replaced.

I want to personally thank many brother priests, parishioners and diocesan officials who have contacted me to express their kind
concerns and offers of help. I am grateful to our parish maintenance staff for their many hours of hard work to clean up the
damaged facilities and make them usable again for our people. During such a difficult time, I was quite overwhelmed with the
goodness of many people.

As we gather for the Eucharist, we remember in prayer all those who lost their lives during the storm. We are also mindful of
those who continue to suffer, especially those who have been displaced from their homes and those who had to endure significant
and costly repairs to their properties. Let us continue to look out for one another, especially in times of need like this. Our
attention, care and generosity are always the most powerful and visible signs of God’s compassion to all.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Msgr. Cuong M. Pham