Words fail to describe what has been happening here in Houston. The rain brought by Hurricane Harvey has not stopped for four days, but our support and care for one another seem limitless.
I have received many calls and emails of support from Jesuit apostolates all over the country, and we deeply appreciate the prayers and promises of help. Much help will be needed in the weeks and months after this storm moves on. As of now, our Strake Jesuit families have been reaching out to one another and their neighbors as they can. Yesterday, one of our freshmen, Declan Conner, along with some other Strake Jesuit boys, was navigating his fishing boat through the streets of his neighborhood rescuing people trapped in their homes. You can see him in action on Twitter. He is a brave young man and I cannot tell you how proud of him I am.
No one will be surprised to know that our Jesuit family is responding generously. I have had faculty and staff members offer to leave their own families and help in any way they can. As always, I am amazed by our team—they continually prove to be “for others” at their core.
Several of our families woke this morning to new orders to evacuate their homes, but some of them are trapped. We are offering shelter here at the school, where it is still dry and safe, but getting around the city is a great challenge.
We are in the midst of this mess. It feels too early to reflect on this situation or offer pats on the back, and I am afraid there is more to come. Nonetheless, in my prayers, I am filled with gratitude that people are so generous and concerned for us. It means a lot to hear of the prayers of others from all over the country. Our Jesuit community—composed of Jesuits from Strake Jesuit and Cristo Rey Jesuit—has been praying quite a bit and we have celebrated Mass each day and will continue to do so as a community of prayer. I have found tremendous strength in this.
I was very moved to hear from Jesuit High School in New Orleans. A few years ago, we were able to help them out in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. We are connected by this bond of mutual support, and they are eager to make good on this bond. I am so thankful for their generosity.
Please keep praying for us. It truly helps. It helps us keep our resolve and renew our faith in God who cares so deeply for us.