Matthew 25 is the church parish disaster response program for our diocese. Catholic Charities is assisting in bringing together the many talents and resources that church parishes demonstrated after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to organize and integrate volunteer response teams in the event of future disasters. Together, the parish volunteer coordinators and team members are developing a more detailed plan for giving primary assistance, followup care to disaster victims, and disaster preparedness for their church parishioners.
Margie Duplantis (center), Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, presents a check for $13,000 to Stephanie Bernard (right) and Karol Menard (left) Diocese of Lafayette for on-going August flood relief work. They continue to clean out houses and have begun forming a Long Term Recovery Committee. They are also providing grants to Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Lafayetter to assist people with the purchase of household goods and home repairs.
An additional donation of $5,126 has been sent to Catholic Charities of Southwest Louisiana for flood relief work in their diocese. They have purchased cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items, clothing and food. They are now in the process of helping families in the Cameron and Jennings areas purchase appliances. They are also engaged with the Long Term Recovery Committee formation.
This follows the distribution of $30,000 to Catholic Charities Diocese of Baton Rouge last month plus an additional $3,000 paid to the clean out crew for flooded diocesan employees.
Thank you for these donations from around the country totalling $51,126, all of which has now been distributed.
Robert Gorman presents a check for $30,000 to Carol Spruel for disaster relief. Bishop Shelton Fabre, Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux presented a $156,000 disaster recovery check from our diocesan second collection to Bishop Robert Muench and Carol Spruell, Diocese of Baton Rouge. Additional donations from the collection will be made to the dioceses of Lafayette and Lake Charles and reported here.
Click Here: Recovery Report from Catholic Charities Baton Rouge
Seminarians (including 5 from the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux), professors, and staff from Notre Dame Seminary organized a day of service in the Lafayette area assisting flood victims. The seminary community has been offering material assistance, prayer and solidarity for those affected by the floods. The Lafayette recovery work was coordinated through Catholic Charities.
This particular photo is of just one of several small groups working on houses in St. Martinville. As evidenced by the debris, one of the ways that the seminarians assisted was by gutting houses.
Photo by Andrew Schumacher using his aerial photography drone.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux has now received $48,000 to be turned over to sister Catholic Charities agencies in the dioceses of Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Lake Charles. Donations have come from local famlies and from people from as far away as California, Michigan and Maine and all states in between. Thank You!! More about how the Catholic Charities agencies will spend the money will be forthcoming in the next week or two. This is in addition to the contributions from the second collection in churches throughout the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux.
Last week Vanguard Vacuum Trucks carried an 18-wheeler full of water, clean up kits and disaster relief supplies to St. Mark and Holy Rosary Catholic Churches in St. Amant because they were not getting enough supplies to meet the need. Thanks to Vanguard Vacuum Trucks and D & S Marine Service for transporting these items and Reeco Rentals for the donation of their fork lift for the morning. Thanks to Cenac Marine Services for the pallets of clean-up supplies and to all the people of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux who dropped off relief supplies at their local church parish, Catholic Charities office, Sacred Heart Church in Morgan City, Catholic Community Center, the Thibodaux Good Samaritan Food Bank or the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux Pastoral Center.
Robert Gorman (pictured in center with green Matthew 25 t-shirt and Catholic Charities USA disaster assistance ball cap), executive director of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, joined the Together Baton Rouge Gut-Check team with General Russel Honore today, gutting the home of a Baton Rouge handicapped couple. Together Baton Rouge is a Catholic Campaign for Human Development past grant recipient.
Over 40 Vandebilt Catholic High School football players, 6 coaches, Principal Jeremy Gueldner, and President David Boudreaux took part in a flood clean-up day this past weekend in Denham Springs. The players loaded the bus after a full morning of conditioning and video study of Friday's game. They worked in three locations until about 6pm and then returned to Immaculate Conception Catholic Church for supper. "We had no idea that there was so much damage. It was eye-opening for all of us," said President Boudreaux. Besides this effort, the school has collected almost $7,000 for flood relief and the Vandebilt cheerleaders collected additional money to replace the Denham Springs High School cheerleader uniforms destroyed in the flooding. "One of the couples we helped said that they will be at the game on Friday to cheer on the Terriers," stated Boudreaux.
The Arevalos Clean-Up Crew gutted the flooded home of the seventh Diocese of Baton Rouge employee to be helped by the Diocese of Houma-Thidodaux.
Donations through Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux to support the work of Catholic Charities agencies in flooded dioceses in Louisiana stand at $39,430 as of today. Donations are coming from across the United States. This outpouring is a testament to the generosity of people throughout the country who are taking to heart the words of Jesus in Matthew 25: For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me...whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.
On behalf of the families who are struggling to put their lives back together, thank you! We will be turning the money over to our sister Catholic Charities agencies within the next few weeks and that will be reported here. Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux is not keeping any part of these donations. Additionally, Catholic Churches throughout the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux took up collections over the past two weekends for disaster relief and Bishop Shelton Fabre will be turning that money over to his fellow bishops in flooded dioceses in the weeks to come.
Thank you to the men of the Assisi Bridge House who volunteered to accompany Rob Gorman yesterday to move furniture out of the house of one of the Catholic Charities Baton Rouge employees. By Saturday night the family, helped by local volunteers, had completed the work and didn't need us. However, another Catholic Charities employee called last night pleading for help because family members did not finish gutting his house. Our Arevalo's Clean-Out Crew will finish his house tomorrow.
The delivery of relief supplies to St. Amant was delayed until tomorrow. The pallets were shrink wrapped to day to prepare for delivery.
Six houses have now been cleaned out and gutted and are ready for the homeowners to start re-building. An additional 18 wheeler of relief supplies has been collected and will be going to Holy Rosary Catholic Church in St. Amant this Monday. The parish is working with other local churches to distribute clean-up supplies, water and other relief items. Thanks to Vanguard Vacuum Trucks and D & S Marine Service for transporting these items under the leadership of Brandon Gawlik and Dean Cheramie who not only run these companies, but they are the team driving the truck on each trip! Thanks to Cenac Marine Services for the pallets of clean-up supplies shipping on Monday and to all the people who dropped off relief supplies at their Parish, Catholic Charities or the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux Pastoral Center.
Donations continue to arrive through this website from all over the country! Thank you!!
If you would like to give directly to the flooded dioceses here is a report on their work with their donations page:
Diocese of Baton Rouge: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/ccdbrdisasterresponse
Catholic Charities has its own warehouse for disaster relief supplies which are being distributed to meet the needs of flood victims.
Diocese of Lafayette: https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=9fd2bc
Over 500 volunteers have mucked out 300 homes and are going door to door to check on families.
We still need volunteers! Rob Gorman, CCHT executive director, is leading a crew this Friday afernoon (8/26 - leaving from St. Thomas Aquinas Church on the Nicholls campus in Thibodaux at 1:30 pm) to remove furniture from the homes of two elderly employees of Catholic Charities in Baton Rouge so that gutting crews can remove floors and sheetrock. All we need are strong backs - we won't be doing any work with tools! Please call Rob at 876-0490 or 805-0372. A second possible time to go is Sunday morning.
The first clean out crew completed three houses in three days. They were delayed in one house that had plywood on all walls and it took a long time to remove it. That crew may or may not be able to return by mid-week. We are determined to honor our clean out commitment to the other 12 Baton Rouge Catholic Charities staff who flooded. We have to move as quickly as possible to beat the mold. Please call 876-0490 if you are able to join a clean out crew on one or more days this week. Thank you!
The first three (3) of fifteen (15) flooded homes of staff of the Diocese of Baton Rouge were cleaned out and gutted this weekend to prevent mold from forming and to air out the houses in preparation for rebuilding. The first home, pictured above, belongs to a widowed diocesan employee who was amazed at the extent of the work done by the crew sent by Chris Ledet Homes of Thibodaux. She called it "miraculous." Ledet and Robert Gorman, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux executive director, inspected the home in Baton Rouge earlier today.
Call Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux at 876-0490 or click the blue Make a Difference Donate button on this page and indicate Clean-Out Fund. 100% of donations go toward this relief work. Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux keeps none of the money.
Donations marked August Louisiana Funds continue to increase and will be 100% divided among our sister Catholic Charities agencies in flooded dioceses. To date, more than $23,000 has been raised through Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. Additional donations for flood relief were made at Masses this weekend in a second collection that will be taken up again next weekend.
Thank you people of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. You have been incredibly generous! We are blessed to be in a position to "pay it forward."
Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Baton Rouge has 15 staff who have been flooded, but who are also still working at their jobs to help others recover. A muck-out and carpentry crew from Thibodaux begins works tomorrow (Saturday) through Monday to clean up the first homes and tear out sheetrock and insulation. Other crews will be needed if we are to quickly assist all of these needy staff before mold takes over. Consider volunteering your time or donating to cover the expenses of crews from our diocese working to prepare these homes before reconstruction can begin. Call Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux at 876-0490 or click the blue Make a Difference Donate button on this page and indicate Clean-Out Fund. 100% of donations go toward this relief work. Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux keeps none of the money. Donations marked August Louisiana Funds continue to increase and will be divided among our sister Catholic Charities agencies in flooded dioceses.
Chris Ledet Homes made the first donation to the Clean-Out Fund and Bishop Shelton Fabre matched it with diocesan disaster relief funds. More crews will be needed to complete the clean-out of all 15 homes during the upcoming week.
Thanks to Vanguard Vacuum Trucks and D & S Marine Service for the latest donation of trucks and drivers to deliver relief supplies to the St. Vincent de Paul warehouse in Baton Rouge. Thanks to Express Supply and Steel for 5 pallets of relief supplies. Thanks to Cenac Marine Serivces for the commitment of an 18-wheeler of clean up supplies for flood victims in the next week. Cannata's Family Market, South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center and the Bayou Beer Society are sponsoring a bottled water drive. Donors can visit any of the Cannata's stores and purchase cases of water to be distributed to Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge. Once cases have been donated our volunteers will take the water directly to the Catholic Charities office. The need is both immediate and long term. As people begin to move into the cleanup process, clean running water is projected to be scarce. Together we can make sure that those who have helped us so much in times of natural disaster don't go thirsty.
Catholic Charities staff visited evacuees at the Quality Inn in Thibodaux to distribute needed items and to provide counseling and support.
Donations continue to pour into our website hourly to help flood victims in our sister dioceses.
Bishop Fabre has called for a diocesan wide collection in each Catholic Church this weekend and/or next weekend to help flood victims. He has also extended the collection of donated goods for flood victims a five locations throughout the diocese for another week according to the schedule below:
The following locations are accepting donations of household paper products, cleaning supplies, toiletries, disposable diapers, sheets, pillowcases and blankets (no clothes or other items please). Please place all donations in small boxes that can be lifted by volunteers of all ages:
Diocesan Pastoral Center, 2779 Highway 311, Schriever between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. through Friday, August 26.
Catholic Charities, 1220 Aycock Street, Houma between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. through Friday, August 26.
Catholic Community Center, 9018 E. Avenue A, Galliano, on Monday between 2 pm and 4 pm, Wednesday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. until Noon through 8/26.
Thibodaux Good Samaritan Food Bank, 100 Birch Street, Thibodaux on Tuesday and Thursday between 8 a.m. and Noon and Saturday from 10 a.m. until Noon through 8/27.
Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 415 Union Street, Morgan City between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. through Friday August 26.
Additionally these Catholic Churches and Schools are collecting needed items:
St. Joseph Co-Cathedral, 721 Canal Blvd. Thibodaux, bottled water and individually packaged snacks.
St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, NSU campus, Thibodaux non-perishable food, household paper products, cleaning supplies, disposable diapers, bottled water, pet supplies and blankets.
Annunziata Catholic Church Cleaning supplies
St. Genevieve Catholic Church and School School supplies
St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church Cleaning supplies
St. Eloi Catholic Church Cleaning supplies, toiletries, paper products, misc.
St. Gregory Catholic Church Adopted 15 families to give cleaning supplies and gift cards
St. Joseph Catholic Church (Galliano) Cleaning supplies, non-perishable items, clothes
St. Bernadette Catholic School Adopted St. Alphonse Catholic School in Denham Springs
St. Lawrence the Martyr Catholic Church Cleaning supplies
Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church (Chackbay) Cleaning supplies, toiletries
St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church (Pointe Aux Chenes) Cooking for flood victims
Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic School (Larose) Cleaning supplies, School supplies
Holy Savior Catholic Church (Lockport) Cooking for flood victims
St. Francis Catholic School raised over $6000 for the flood victims in Baton Rouge for a Catholic school in Baton Rouge.
Vandebilt Catholic High football team volunteers helped clean out homes of flood victims and raised $7,000 for flood relief. Vandebilt cheerleaders collected additional money to replace the Denham Springs High School cheerleader uniforms destroyed in the flooding.
A total of 20 civil parishes have now received a federal disaster declaration. See the list further along on this web page.
In two days, donations through this Catholic Charities website have reached $13,025 to pass on to Catholic Charities agencies in our sister dioceses to help them help flood victims. Additionally, a collection will be taken up in all Catholic Churches in our diocese this weekend with the proceeds being sent by Bishop Fabre to the dioceses who are recovering from the floods.
Matthew 25 Disaster Ministry volunteers throughout Catholic Churches, schools and offices in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux are responding tremendously to assist our brothers and sisters to the north and west in their hour of need.
Today the Thibodaux Good Samaritan Food Bank sent 6 pallets of clean-up kits, plus toiletries and water to Baton Rouge for flood victims. Thanks to Arabie Trucking for the transportation and Reeco Rental for the loan of a fork lift and operator.
On Monday, Catholic Community Center in Galliano sent an assortment of 521 pieces of summer clothing directly from the Thrift Store racks and an additional 44 bags of assorted clothing averaging 50 pieces of good clothing per bag. They also sent approximately 400 pairs of socks in a variety of sizes. CCC also sent 200 multi packs of sheets. CCC will be sending additional clothing to flood victims around Lafayette this weekend.
Please keep everyone in your prayers. 40,000 homes have been damaged and 10 people have died. There is a 10 pm - 6 am curfew in EBR Parish. Additional flooding is still possible as backwaters threaten low-lying areas. Several hundred homes in SW Louisiana in Acadia Parish have flooded and the Mermentau River won't crest until Thursday. 8,000 people still in shelters, 30,000 rescued. 8 new parishes added to disaster declaration (see below). Estimated 75% of homes in Livingston Parish suffered major damage.
Homes in flood regions throughout South Louisiana are still inundated with water and search and rescue operations are still going on. 10,500 people are now in 50 shelters across Louisiana. 50,000 meals a day are being served. Catholic Charities Diocese of Baton Rouge, Catholic Social Services Diocese of Lafayette, Catholic Charities of Southwest Louisiana and Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans are currently gathering information about the needs of their communities and have begun disaster operations. Bishop Fabre has offered the help of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux to our fellow Louisiana dioceses and that offer has been communicated.