Catholic Diocese donates $50K to 3 La churches set on fire

State News

Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Bureau investigators work the crime scene of the burnt ruins of the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, one of three that recently burned down in St. Landry Parish, in Opelousas, La., Wednesday, April 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

PORT BARRE, La. (AP) — (11/2/19) The Catholic Diocese of Lafayette has donated $50,000 toward rebuilding efforts of three Louisiana churches destroyed by arson.

Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel presented the pastors of three St. Landry Parish historically black Baptist churches with the money on Thursday.

The churches were destroyed between March 26 and April 4. Accused arsonist Holden Matthews is awaiting trial on state and federal arson and hate crimes charges.

The Advocate reports Deshotel says he and his congregants were saddened when the fires unfolded and recognized a similar tragedy could easily have happened to one of their churches. The funds were raised during a second collection at churches around the diocese in recent weeks. The money will be divided equally among the churches — about $16,600 each.

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