Friday, September 09, 2005

Update for St. Jude Shrine's Oblates

From the Oblates' US Provincial web site:

[During the storm] Fr. Mike Amesse, along with long time seminary professor, Fr. Frank Montalbano, took refuge in the Cathedral rectory Sunday night and Monday...

Fr. Tony Rigoli and scholastic Bro. Porfirio Garcia, made an attempt to drive to Belleville to get ahead of the hurricane. After 12 hours on highway 55, they got nowhere and ended up in a hotel lobby with dozens of other “refugees,” sleeping on the floor amid cats and dogs. Porfirio said it felt like he was in Noah’s ark! ...

Frs. Mike Amesse and Tony Rigoli and Bro. Porfirio Garcia are now staying at the Christian Renewal Center in Dickinson, outside of Houston. (Fr. Frank Montalbano is staying at Madonna Residence in San Antonio.)

They are ministering to the various people from New Orleans located in the 4 centers (Astrodome, Reliant Center, Arena, Convention Center) in Houston. Many of those people are parishioners of St. Jude or people from the neighborhood. Fr. Mike says things are very well organized by FEMA in these places, and that people with skills are using them—barbers are cutting hair, hair dressers are doing women’s hair, garbage men are collecting garbage, etc. Folks are clean and getting rested, clothes have been provided, and there are plenty of services (doctors, etc.) and security. For the moment, people seem to be being taken care of (today the Social Security people were there to work with those on Social Security and get their benefits straightened out) but long term issues remain to be seen.
They are asking people who are interested in making financial donations to help the Oblates of St. Jude Shrine help victims of the disaster to contribute through either the Oblates' Missionary Association in Belleville IL (; 888-330-6264), or Oblate Missions in San Antonio TX (; 210-736-1685).

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