Mother Nature has not been kind to areas of the country this spring and summer, lashing out with severe hurricanes, floods and tornadoes. But ministries of Holy Name Province have responded in the spirit of St. Francis.
Raleigh Area Assistance
When devastating tornadoes hit the Raleigh, N.C., area, home to St. Francis of Assisi Church, in April, people from across the country came to help. A team from Grand Rapids, Mich., working with Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, worked in the Raleigh area for two weeks, visiting those affected by the storms and assessing their needs.
The St. Francis Parish, where Mark Reamer, OFM, is pastor, hosted a dinner for these volunteers.
Disaster recovery work is nothing new to St. Francis, which has an extensive Disaster Recovery Ministry. Its mission is to assist communities in their recovery efforts following devastating damage from hurricanes and natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Haiti and the tornadoes in North Carolina.
“We do so by organizing and sending multiple delegations to hard-hit regions serving with their time, talent, and treasure,” according to the parish website.
A delegation from the ministry went to Haiti in early July to help with earthquake rebuilding efforts, and went to Galveston, Texas, in March 2009 to help Hurricane Ike victims.
Last year, the ministry also sent a delegation to New Orleans to work on the rebuilding efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Project for Joplin
Holy Cross Church in Callicoon, N.Y., where Ignatius Smith, OFM, is pastor, has been working with the nearby St. Patrick Parish recently to help the people of Joplin, Mo., which suffered one of the worst tornadoes in years on May 22. Approximately 150 people perished and 2,000 buildings were damaged.
Ignatius said that his parish contacted St. Mary’s Parish, which lost its school and rectory and where the pastor, Fr. Justin Monaghan, survived by taking cover in the rectory bathtub. He was pulled to safety when parishioners dug through the rubble to get to him, said Ignatius.
Holy Cross collected approximately $3,000 at Sunday Masses, which was sent to Fr. Monaghan.
— Wendy Healy is a Connecticut-based writer and a frequent contributor to HNP Today.