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

A 14-year-old boy receives medical treatment at Suez Canal University hospital in Ismailia, Egypt, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, after he was in injured during an attack on a mosque (AP Photo/Amr Nabil).
The pope described the attack as a “wanton act of brutality directed at innocent civilians gathered in prayer.”
Gerard O’ConnellNovember 24, 2017
“The Senate proposal is fundamentally flawed as written and requires amendment,” said Bishop Frank J. Dewane in a Nov. 22 letter to senators.
Pope Francis greets people at the “Regional Hub,” a government-run processing center for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, in Bologna, Italy, Oct. 1. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano)
Although he named no countries, Vatican observers believe he is referring especially to political leaders in several western and eastern European countries.
Gerard O’ConnellNovember 24, 2017
For Thanksgiving, we give you an inside look into what Jesuit basketball teams to watch out for this season.
Olga SeguraNovember 24, 2017