Local Catholic Response to Southeast Louisiana Flooding

Even as the flood waters rose in our neighboring Dioceses of Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Lake Charles in August, the response of the local Catholic Church began. Parishes throughout the metropolitan area went to work quickly to provide aid to our sisters and brothers affected by the historic flooding. As the flood waters receded, volunteers from our parishes and schools were some of the first on the ground, and our local parishes continue to be a point of resource and aid to the area. Below is just a sampling of the flood relief efforts coordinated by the parishes, schools and minis- tries of the Archdiocese of New Orleans:
• Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans raised $267,208 in the weeks immediately following the flooding all of which will be sent to Catholic Charities agencies in Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Lake Charles to be used to help flood victims.
• An appeal from Archbishop Aymond resulted in an additional $360,000 to be sent to the bishops in our neighboring dioceses to help with flood relief and rebuilding efforts.
• By August 21, Second Harvest Food Bank had distributed 233,702 pounds of water, snacks and cleaning supplies to agencies serving approximately 44,635 people. Additionally, Second Harvest has provided meals and support to both the Baton Rouge area Council on Aging and Red Cross.
• We are aware of 10 tractor trailers full of supplies that were donated and distributed to those in need through e orts of local church parishes.
• Local Knights of Columbus Councils and parish men’s clubs mobilized hundreds of volunteers to prepare thousands of meals and also to gut and clean homes in the affected areas.
• Teams of seminarians from Notre Dame Seminary mobilized to help cut and clean homes in the Baton Rouge area.
• Several Catholic High Schools mobilized hundreds of volunteers to clean and gut in the affected areas, prepared meals, and coordinated successful supply drives.
• Local Catholic Schools have formed twinning relationships with affected schools to provide direct assistance for the long-term of recovery.

In the Archdiocese of New Orleans we know too well the physical and emotional toll flood victims face as they work to rebuild homes, schools, churches and businesses. Please continue to keep the flood victims in prayer. Pray too in thanksgiving for all those who have contributed to recovery and to those who continue to work on their behalf that God will give them strength and grace to continue their work.