ALLEGANY, N.Y. – St. Bonaventure University students and faculty have organized a major Hurricane Katrina relief effort – BonaResponds – to the Gulf Region. Over 200 students have volunteered (10 percent of the total student population), a number of faculty as well as people from the local community, including a group of Secular Franciscans – about 275 in all. A number of alumni and friends of the university will be joining the group during the week for varying periods of time. Our group will be working primarily with a group called “Hands On,” and we will have groups in Biloxi, Miss., Long Reach, Miss., Bay St. Louis, Miss., St. Bernard’s Parish, La., and New Orleans.
This is the largest service trip in the history of the university. At a “Service of Ashes and Sending” on Ash Wednesday, over 300 members of the University community gathered for evening prayer and were challenged to open their hearts, especially to those who were most in need wherever any might be during Spring Break 2006. All of the BonaResponds volunteers received a tau cross as a symbol of their missioning from the University in addition to ashes. Friars who are making the trip include Edward Coughlin, David Blake, Peter Schneible, Allen Weber,Robert Struzynski, and Daniel Riley.
We ask your prayerful support of this undertaking that the Lord will keep everyone safe and that some good might be accomplished through the generosity of the SBU community during our March 3-11 service trip.
We are conscious of the great need that exists throughout this region. We pray that our small and humble contribution will speak a word of hope and encouragement to all of the people in the area, as they continue to cope with the devastating effects of the disaster.