“Again we pray for the preservation of this holy Church…and every city and land, from the wrath of God, pestilence, famine, earthquake, flood, fire…and sudden death, and that our God Who loves mankind will be merciful, gracious and favorable towards us…”

Dearly Beloved in the Lord,

We have all been apprised of the tragic gas explosion that has destroyed 38 homes in San Bruno, California. Presently, the death toll stands at four people but there are concerns that others may have lost their lives as well. In addition, 52 people have been injured as 15 acres of residential area burned on Thursday, September 9. 

A suburb of San Francisco, San Bruno has been declared a local disaster area. Among the homes that have been destroyed, we are aware of several families from our parishes in the Bay area who have either been displaced or lost their homes and personal belongings.

In the prayers of supplication, offered during the Blessing of the Loaves (Artoklasia), we beseech our heavenly Father to preserve us from every probable calamity. When the need arises, it is in God’s love for all that we find strength and comfort to support those afflicted with any type of sickness or unforeseen circumstance.   

The first responders to this emergency have acted admirably. Local and state officials have expressed their support and willingness to help the families in dealing with this tragedy. It is our sacred obligation to also offer our support to the residents of San Bruno.       

I encourage each parish in the Metropolis of San Francisco to pass a special tray on Sunday, September 19 to collect funds to assist those is need. All contributions collected for this purpose should be directed to the:       

Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco         
2010 San Bruno Fire   
245 Valencia Street   
San Francisco, CA 94103

Anticipating the support of the Greek Orthodox faithful, I wish to thank you for your assistance.

With Love in Christ,
+ G E R A S I M O S
Metropolitan of San Francisco