Church Ready to Help in Louisiana

The images of the British Petroleum disaster and a monster oil spill creeping closer to Louisiana have triggered unwanted flashbacks for people whose scars from Hurricane Katrina remain raw. “Today we are crying out, ‘Why us, Lord?’” said Tony Fernandez, the former chief criminal deputy sheriff of the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office and chairman of the pastoral council of Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church in Chalmette, La. Fernandez, who operates a marina and figures to be heavily affected by the oil spill, said the church must help hard-working people who cannot protect themselves. “It’s been one catastrophic event after another. But our focus is not so much on our sorrow; but it’s on what we can do for others.” The oil spill threatens the livelihood of 300 fishing families in St. Bernard Parish and another 1,000 in Plaquemines. (In Louisiana civil jurisdictions are called parishes.) Gordon Wadge, co-president and chief executive of Catholic Charities says his agency is gearing up for the test to come. “We are going to be making case management and counseling available,” Wadge said. “You also can’t underestimate the value of pastoral presence.”

Advertisement
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Pope Francis has appointed 16 members (eight men and eight women) to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.
Gerard O’ConnellFebruary 17, 2018
This time the victims themselves are not having it. From the moment the first shots rang out, they captured the horror and broadcast it, forced the nation to confront it and talk about it.
Kevin ClarkeFebruary 16, 2018

Given the moment we are in, you might think a lot of shows on television would be trying to talk about current events or “America” in some way. But in point of fact, there aren’t that many. And even fewer are doing it well.

Jim McDermottFebruary 16, 2018
A conversation with Liel Leibovitz and Stephanie Butnick on faith, fasting and podcasting
Olga SeguraFebruary 16, 2018