|Group of family missionaries with Archbishop Emeritus Phillip Hannan of New Orleans, Fr Pat Wattigny, parish priest of St Benilde’s Parish in New Orleans, and Fr Patrick Murphy, LC|
Over the past few weeks, Youth & Family Missionaries for
the Third Millennium in Louisiana have been organizing humanitarian
relief missions to areas stricken by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
under the name of MISSION HOPE. The focus has been
to adopt a Catholic parish or school, find out their
immediate needs and answer them as best we can sending
missionaries, materials and financial support. The characteristics of each mission
site is usually somewhat unique, depending on the needs of
the local community.
On the weekend of October 21-23, MISSION HOPE
organized a family relief mission in New Orleans at St
Benilde´s Parish. Local Catholics donned the MISSION HOPE - FMTM
T-shirt and headed into the neighborhood to bring the Christian
message of charity and support to those who had been
gravely affected by the storm. Children went out bringing flowers
and gifts to those in need, as parents and older
siblings got to work tackling the clean-up and renewal of
the parish locality, house by house.
On the final Sunday of
the mission, the family missionaries attended the parish Mass celebrated
by Archbishop Emeritus Phillip Hannan of New Orleans and concelebrated
by Fr. Patrick Murphy, LC. Ken Davison, director of Catholic World Mission, then presented a donation to the pastor
for the support of the parish school. On the following
day, Ken attended Sunday mass celebrated by Archbishop Alfred Hughes
of New Orleans at a Vietnamese parish that had recently
reopened in the city. After mass, Ken interviewed the archbishop
who agreed to record a message encouraging people to volunteer
and send their support for the mission. On the same
day Catholic World Mission presented the archdiocese with a $40,000
donation to support displaced priests.
In addition to the support given
to the priests and families of New Orleans, the missionaries
are being the hands and feet of Christ for their
brothers and sisters in need. A letter from one of
the missionaries below captures the spirit being lived by all.
needs here are seemingly endless: 160,000 families are homeless, numerous
parishes, schools and universities are still closed. Many months of
intensive labor is on the horizon. Please consider coming down
to be a part of the solution for the Mission
Hope Christmas Megamission that will run from December 26-30, 2005.
The mission will include Family missions, young men’s and young
It will be an unforgetable opportunity for your family
or son or daugher to experience firsthand that there is
more joy in giving than receiving. To register, or for
more info, including stories & photos of previous missions, please
see the MISSION HOPE website at missionhopela.com.