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Youth for the Third Millennium Lends a Hand to Slidell Parish and School
U. S. A. | APOSTOLATE | NEWS
When Youth for the Third Millennium arrived on his doorstep a few days ahead of the re-opening, he was only too happy to receive a helping hand from “his guardian angels,” as he called the missionaries.

Youth for the Third Millennium missionaries, mostly students from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, help parishes in Slidell, LA, overcome hurdles left by Hurricane Katrina.
Youth for the Third Millennium missionaries, mostly students from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, help parishes in Slidell, LA, overcome hurdles left by Hurricane Katrina.

Slidell, LA was one of the cities that received a direct hit from Katrina.  Two Catholic churches and one school were devastated by the storm.  St Margaret Mary’s Church was one of the “more fortunate,” as the rising flood waters did not reach it.  However, the roofs of the church and some school buildings were torn off in the storm and there was extensive water damage in many classrooms.  Msgr. Lanaux Rarechild, the pastor, showed great strength in confronting the difficult situation.  Despite many hurdles he was determined to open the parish school on Monday September 19.  So when Youth for the Third Millennium arrived on his doorstep a few days ahead of the re-opening, he was only too happy to receive a helping hand from “his guardian angels,” as he called the missionaries.

That Saturday, over 20 young men led by YTM director Tony MacDonnell helped make Father Rarechild’s hopes a reality. The missionaries hailed from Louisiana State University (LSU), University of Louisiana Lafayette (ULL) and local Regnum Christi teams, joining the ranks of other parish volunteers.  They cleaned out and organized classrooms and removed debris from the grounds in preparation for the school’s reopening.  In the course of the day’s work they were surprised by a visit from Archbishop Alfred Hughes of New Orleans who was surveying the parishes of the archdiocese.  He was happy to see the missionaries at work and stopped to greet them personally.  An article on the mission is appearing in the National Catholic Register.

With the help of the youth missionaries, the school was able to reopen as planned on Monday September 19.  To accommodate more pupils they have begun “platooning” with students from a neighboring parish, St Margaret Mary; one group studies from 7 a.m. to noon while others attend a second shift of
Youth for the Third Millennium Director Tony MacDonnell meets with pastors in Slidell, LA, where YTM missionaries have been helping parishes recover from Hurricane Katrina.
Youth for the Third Millennium Director Tony MacDonnell meets with Archbishop Alfred Hughes in Slidell, LA, where YTM missionaries have been helping parishes recover from Hurricane Katrina.
classes from 1-6 p.m.

Still, the work at this parish is not over: eleven classrooms still remain unusable, and the roof of the church needs replacement.  YTM will be close to Msgr. Rarechild to see what additional support the missionaries can offer him and his parishioners in the upcoming weeks.

Remarkably, this parish is one of the more fortunate in Slidell.  At St Genevieve Church 4-8 feet of water filled the church buildings, destroying the altar, pews, and other furniture, and leaving a few inches of mud behind in all the buildings.  YTM is planning a future mission at the parish. God willing, many young people from around the country will be able to participate in these missions.  To sign up for a mission log on to ytm.org.  Financial support for affected parishes and the missionary effort can be made at catholicworldmission.org.

The work seems endless, but the faith, generosity and resilience of this people is strong.  The hurricane victims and YTM appreciate the prayers of all the Regnum Christi members and the support they are providing. Material support can be provided through Catholic World Mission.


PUBLICATION DATE: 2005-09-28


 
 

Related links

Altius Foundation
Catholic World Mission
Helping Hands Medical Missions
St Rafael Guizar y Valencia Missionary Center


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Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.


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