Monday, August 28, 2006

It's a Holy, Tough, Good, Weird Time

Yesterday (Sunday) 120 of us gathered under a canopy over the outoor chapel on our former church site. The outdoor chapel was built in St. Patrick's Park, a green space behind our church that the city maintained as a park and ball field. The outdoor chapel mostly survived the storm (some benches gone but the altar remains). It's all that is left of our church structures.
Bishop Gray joined us and we had a very good turnout. It was a very emotional day, tears flowed freely. During communion we oriented everyone so they were looking out at the ruins of the church and the Gulf beyond. We did annointing (unction) and prayed.
We also baptized two children! And we declared our faith, our hope, our determination.
You can listen to my sermon (it's short on the Knight scale) and see some pictures by clicking here
Tomorrow we have several other things on tap for the actual anniversary, some joint services at the school where we worship and the site of our relief center, and another at the Methodist church in Long Beach.
Folks around here are handling this special date in a variety of ways - but many, many are struggling. Suicide attempts are up, mental health issues abound, kids are acting out big time. Every channel you turn to is showing images and videos of the horror we went through (and still go through). I have told my folks to just turn the blasted TV off. Our minds have ENOUGH images for us all. Plus, people are down right ANGRY that once again, New Orleans gets all the attention. But I guess their anger has to go somewhere.
Tomorrow will be tough. Keep us in your prayers.
By the way, Trip, if you are reading, I used your quote in my sermon - thanks dude!


Tripp said...

No problem, Fadda Dave. No problem at all.

Mitch Smith said...

Dear Dave,
You are in my prayers and thoughts. I wont and my parish wont ever forget your church, community, and diocese. Also great sermon.