Flood victims, legislators need our prayerful support
We’re in need of prayers on many fronts. The state Legislature recently finished a special session in which it discussed the state’s budget woes, and then another natural disaster in the form of torrential rain flooded several areas in the archdiocese.
Yes. We do need to keep praying for our legislators and for the flood victims. I visited the northshore on Saturday and saw first-hand the flooded homes of residents and the flooded buildings of St. Joseph Abbey. It will take faith, patience and perseverance to rebuild. Abbot Justin Brown said this was the worst flood event at the abbey in nearly a century. There was a flood that occurred in the 1920s that might have rivaled this, but this one was worse. There was water in almost all of the abbey’s buildings, and, as we all know from hurricanes, even just a little bit of water in a house or office can cause great disruption because the structures have to be cleaned out and remediated. Many families on the northshore are homeless. Catholic Charities responded immediately. They will provide food, supplies and counseling. I was amazed at the destruction and how so many homes were affected and how so many people had to be rescued. The people of our archdiocese have always been very good in supporting those in need with their prayers and financial support, and I know this will be the case again in reaching out to the victims of the flooding. Some parishes will take a second collection, and the Archdiocese of New Orleans will receive individual gifts to help those in need at 7887 Walmsley Ave., New Orleans, LA 70125. Please put your gifts to my attention.
There was a lot of confusion about what actually happened at the special session of the Legislature, and there probably still are a lot of unknowns. What’s your view of what happened?
The one thing I do know is that the money allotted for the state scholarship program – which allows low-income students who had been enrolled in failing public schools to attend Catholic schools – is intact for the rest of this academic year. I think it’s fair to say that everything else regarding the budget beyond this fiscal year is a little bit cloudy. I know many legislators from our area, and they had a very difficult time in the special session. Now the regular session has started, and there probably will be another special session after this regular session because there are so many financial issues on the Legislature’s plate to deal with. The entire Legislature needs our prayerful support so that the body will find a spirit to work together for the common good. I would ask people to pray for the legislators to tackle these difficult issues with sober discernment and to display a willingness to negotiate with others in good faith. I also ask Catholics across the archdiocese to remain attentive as to what the Legislature is discussing. It’s easy to keep up with the issues by going to www.laccb.org, the website of the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops. Just as each of us will be affected by the decisions our legislators will make, we as a church also will be affected. Please pray for their enlightenment and prudence.