Hurricane Katrina and the Vincentian Family

From Vincentian Encyclopedia


Congregation of the Mission Reports


I'm writing from Dallas, today Tuesday. We now know, with growing sadness and worry, of the tremendous devastation to New Orleans, Bay St. Louis, Long Beach, Gulfport, and Biloxi as well as many towns and rural areas in the Gulf coast region. Major roads are destroyed or underwater, bridges have completely disappeared or been seriously damaged, and people everywhere are still waiting to be picked up by helicopter or boat. It is quite hard to imagine, much less accept, such scale of destruction...we are
I have a new concern that we have heard nothing from two of our confreres who we know were in the Long Beach Mississippi area during the weekend...expecting, like so many others, that Katrina would hit New Orleans and not their area.
As it turned out anything near the beach in Long Beach -- including St. Thomas Church, just celebrating their centennial -- has disappeared or been destroyed by winds and the storm surge.
We last heard from Bob Lamy this weekend -- he called that he was moving "farther inland" -- but we now realize was staying in the Long Beach area .
Jim Ward, also visiting the area, left a message as he was heading to a storm shelter with the family he was visiting, to "wait out the storm".
Of somewhat less concern is that, we've not yet heard from Lou Arceneaux who resides near Lafayette, Louisiana -- an area also affected by the hurricane although not nearly as seriously.
The fact is that telephone communication (especially cellular) in most of Mississippi and much of Louisiana is either overloaded or completely down. So we can only wait and pray for their safety and that of countless others who remain out of contact with family or friends.
Meanwhile in Dallas this morning, Perry Henry led the "refugee CMs" (Jim Steinbach, George Weber, Mark Ford) in their first strategy session along with Jack Cawley - pastor of Holy Trinity; and myself. For the time being their residence has become:
Holy Trinity Parish Residence, 3826 Gilbert Avenue Dallas, Texas 75219

We now know that New Orleans Mayor (Ray Nagin) and Louisiana's governor (Kathleen Blanco) have ordered complete evacuation of New Orleans. Sadly, looting and generalized violence are rapidly on the rise, as is th:e water from the two un repaired levees. Even those neighborhoods that may not be as damaged by water have become largely inaccessible. In short it will take a long time before residents can return -- probably a matter of 3-4 months -- and of course the growing question of to what they will be returning!


Fr. Dan Borlik, CM Provincial Congregation of the Mission: Southern Province 3836 Gilbert Avenue Dallas, Texas 75219

Daughters of Charity Reports

Initial Report for Daughters of Charity West Central Province

Posted on on Wednesday, August 31, 2005 @ 13:19:49 EDT by jbf
All of our Sisters left New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast and are safe. Property damage remains to be determined.
Sr. Marie Therese, Visitatrix, and the 4 Provincial Councillors, along with Sr. Teresa Daly, drove three vehicles to Louisiana on Tuesday to assess the situation and assist in relocating the Sisters to Community houses in other areas of the province.

Providence Hospital - Mobile, Alabama

Posted on Thursday, September 01, 2005 @ 08:11:34 EDT by jbf
Providence Hospital in Mobile, AL survived the storm ok and was open for business; surgeries were cancelled yesterday but the ORs were open today.
I believe everything else, with the exception of Radiation Therapy, is operational (it, too, should reopen on Thursday). They are operating under a curfew in Mobile so hours have been cut back on some ancillary services.

Ladies of Charity Reports

Ladies of Charity Report from Mary Beth O'Brien (President LCUSA)

Posted on Saturday, September 03, 2005 @ 19:56:53 EDT by jbf
Mary Beth O'Brien writes...I have tried to reach the New Orleans President, Andrina Kappesser and cannot get through. Father Harold Dicharry, CM and Sr. Marion Brett, DC work with the New Orleans Ladies and I have not been able to reach them either. It must be horrific. Margaret Kelly from Memphis has a brother that is a priest in New Orleans and her mom is also from there. They are safe but they reported things are devestating.
She continues... We are grand -parents twice in three weeks.
Youngest daughter and son-in-law just had a little boy. She went into the hospital a week ago today and she was at risk. The Dr. could not hear the baby's heart beat and daughter had an infection. Dr's treated the infection for three days at the hospital and still the baby's heart beat was up and down, racing one minute and other times they could hardly hear it. Wednesday, the Dr. decided it would be safer to take the baby. Turns out the baby was wrapped twice in his cord and if she went full term the baby probably would not have done so well. He is a healthy baby boy named Frank.

Ladies of Charity Report from Nicky Mercado

Posted on Saturday, September 03, 2005 @ 10:06:04 EDT by jbf
This just in from Nicky Mercado reporting to the Ladies of Charity in Austin Texas
Dear Ladies of Charity of Austin,
Just to give you the good news. I have been trying to get information about our beloved Sister Blanche McDonell, also about the LOC-Mobile, Alabama, the LOC-New Orleans, Louisiana and to offer support. I have not heard anything from the Ladies, but I have good news about Sr. Blanche.
As we all know, Sr. Blanche moved to New Orleans when she retired and she lived on Canal St. until this week. I just watched some comments about the terrible conditions of Canal St. on TV.
I have been writing e-mails to different Daughters of Charity and I have made some calls until, I finally received news from Louise Ewers, a LOC who works with the Daughters in Evansville, Indiana. She learned this morning that all of the Sisters, the Daughters in New Orleans, are safe and that were moved out before the hurricane stroke, so they were all moved to inland location in other houses. She does not know exactly which house Sr. Blanche is in. The Council was going to drive down there, either today or tomorrow...some time this weekend, to see what the conditions of the missions are and if they can even go back before they send the Sisters back. It may be a couple of weeks before we can get in touch with Sr. Blanche. The most important thing is that all the Sisters are safe.
Please pray for them as well as for the rest of the victims of this terrible disaster.
In St. Vincent's spirit, Nicky

From Mary Beth O'Brien

To all family and friends:
This account is from a nephew's wife of Mike, my husband's. They live in Metairie a suburb of New Orleans (near bucktown/orleans parish area). It was one of the areas that should have been flooded with the levee breaking but it was spared that damage. As I get more updates as these, I will continue to share to let friends and family know about New Orleans and the surroundings. It will be lived and worked in again.
Thank you to all of you for your thoughtfulness and prayers for both of our families in this horrific time. Each side of the family has hope and small blessings everyday during this.
Hi everyone-
A quick update. Patrick and I left alexandria at 4:30 am this morning and made it all the way to our house in metairie to see the damage and collect a few belongings. A flood of tears came over me as we entered our city.
No flooding on our street. Thank God. Lots of extensive tree damage and power lines down. it was very orderly and calm. several of our neighbors were there looking exhausted and overheated. they visit our house every few hours to get in our pool to cool off or gather water for their bathrooms. They have food, but desperately need ice. they are upbeat and passionately dedicated to their homes and neighborhood. They have been cleaning up our yard and watching over everything. our fence and gate is completely down. that is a blessing now as the pool has become a life source for our good neighbors. huge trees are uprooted all around and some homes have more damage than others in our area.

we passed St. Clement of Rome and it looks great. only a little damage to one part of the gym could be seen from w. esplanade. the church looks perfect. can't tell if the property took on water. i was so glad to see our school and church.

we are leaving alexandria again in the morning to head to baton rouge. will be out of communication until we get phone service at our apartment, could be a week or more. we have rented at Live Oaks apartments in baton rouge near jefferson highway and airline. rental office has computer and i will try to use it in a few days. leave message in the office if you need to reach us.
i am truly inspired and awe-struck by the spirit of the neighbors who stayed behind. they are cleaning and ready to begin again. once power is restored you will see an amazing effort to breathe new life into metairie. i could see this in their eyes. residents of jeff parish are welcome to return as of monday to visit or stay.......but if they stay they must be prepared to exist in the extremes with no power, water, gas or services for an unspecified time. it was extremely hot, even in the shade.

I saw beauty in my backyard today, as my fences have all come down, my neighbor's yards are mine and my yard theirs. the few living on melody drive are sharing, working and sticking together to protect our community, not just their own property. i will never forget what i saw and learned from them today.

I heard our officials have hired a disaster specialist with experience from 9/11 and the oklahoma bombings to help rebuild jeff parish. i heard him state today that all of us have lost some dreams, but we can create new ones and where trees have fallen, new ones will be planted.

For those of you who will enter metairie or kenner on monday, maybe we will see you there. surely on the weekends we will be there cleaning up. make sure to go with someone else and some form of protection. bring ice, water and food and fill your tanks with gas, as there is no gas around the city that we could see. your neighbors will be so happy for the ice. for those who are watching CNN, there is a lot more to the story than what you are seeing. it would do the nation good to see the spirit that exists in the areas outside of downtown new orleans.

None of us know exactly what the future holds or where we will live in the coming weeks, months or years. That remains to be seen. But, I for one will contribute in every way to the re-birth of jefferson parish and i will strive to stabalize my family nearby with the only thing we need, each other. We can begin again on this.
I hope you don't mind the long editorial, but today was an extraordinary day. Keep praying for our city. There is so much still so tragic and more devastation than not. New Orleans will never be the same, but it will begin again. that is clear.
Love, all blessings and goodnight, Mitzi::

From Mary Beth O'Brien

Margaret Kelly from Memphis has a brother that is a priest in New Orleans and her mom is also from there. They are safe but they reported things are devestating.

From Mary Beth O'Brien


If you are seeking a way to send some direct assistance to the people of New Orleans, please review this note sent to me from my good friend, Fr. Dan Thiess of the Vincentian community. The Vincentians have 2 parishes in the poorest areas of New Orleans and your donations will go directly to those who have been most affected.
Hope you are well! Be safe! And please forward this to others who want to help.
Patty Coen
-----Original Message-----
From: Fr Dan Thiess <>
Sent: Sat, 3 Sep 2005 09:47:42 -0500
Subject: hurricane Donation site
The Southern Province of the Congregation of the Mission, The Vincentian Father and Brothers has set up a site to receive donations for the Hurricane relief that is so desperately needed. The Vincentians? have two parishes in New Orleans. Fr. Perry Henry is the Pastor at St. Joseph?s Parish right near the Superdome. If you?d like to make a donation to the relief effort I ask that you please consider sending a donation to the following address. If you have already made a donation, thank you on behalf of all those in need.
Make checks payable to: Congregation of the Mission
Send donations to:
Congregation of the Mission
NOLA Relief Fund/Fr. Perry Henry, C.M.
3826 Gilbert Ave.
Dallas, TX. 75219

St. Vincent de Paul Society

Other Reports

Preliminary Listing of Vincentian Family Institutions in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi

Posted on Wednesday, August 31, 2005 @ 08:40:50 EDT by jbf
Preliminary research indicates that there are more than 35 insititutions, residences, etc. of the Vincentian Family in Alabama (11), Louisiana (24) and Mississippi (2).
The following branches are affected...
Ladies of Charity - 7 Councils
St. Vincent de Paul Society - 11 Councils
Daughters of Charity - 11 Insititutions, Residences
Congregation of the Mission - 4 Parishes, Residences
This research is based on the first draft of a Vincentian Family database of our institutions with the approval of the national leaders of the various branches and data they have supplied.

Google Mapping of Vincentian Family in New Orleans

Posted on Wednesday, August 31, 2005 @ 09:30:43 EDT by jbf
Links to Google maps locating Vincentian Family Insitutions.
Daughters of Charity
St. Joseph's,.489887&num=2&start=0&hl=en St. Stephan]
St. Vincent de Paul Society


If you have any news about these persons please write

Congregation of the Mission Unaccounted For

We still await word from Fr. Bob Lamy, but presume he is well as he traveled north before the storm hit. The Southern Province appreciates all the prayers and asks that you continue to pray for all the victims and survivors of this disaster. - posted 8/31 - HE HAS BEEN HEARD FROM 9/5

Mary Beth O'Brien writes... Father Harold Dicharry, CM and I have not been able to reach him. Posted 9/4 - HE HAS BEEN HEARD FROM 9/5

All members of the Southern Province have been accounted for.

Daughters of Charity Unaccounted for

Mary Beth O'Brien writes...(I have been unable to contact) Sr. Marion Brett, DC work with the New Orleans Ladies. Post 9/4

Ladies of Charity Unaccounted For

Mary Beth O'Brien writes...I have tried to reach the New Orleans President, Andrina Kappesser and cannot get through. Posted 9/4

St. Vincent de Paul Unaccounted For

Others Unaccounted For


Congregation of the Mission Requests for Aid

Daughters of Charity Requests for Aid

Ladies of Charity Requests for Aid

St. Vincent de Paul Requests for Aid

SVDP - Biloxi, MS

Society of St. Vincent de Paul's District Councils in Biloxi, Miss., and New Orleans need money to help hurricane victims. Checks may be made out to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and marked "disaster relief." Donations may be sent to St. Vincent de Paul; 2610 Montana Ave.; Billings, MT 59101-2340. Call Harry at 252-1855 for information.

Other Requests for Aid


Congregation of the Mission Relief Initiatives

St.John's University

Hurricane Katrina was one of the most catastrophic natural disasters in the United States for the past century. It destroyed millions of homes and shattered countless lives. In order to share the nation’s burden, St. John’s has actively joined the nation-wide campaign of support and generosity. The relief activities are filed into four main categories:

I. STUDENTS ENROLLED AT ST. JOHN’S: Thirty-Four (34) Students

Currently St. John’s has admitted (for the semester) thirty-four (34) students from the Gulf Coast Region (GCR). Prior to Hurricane Katrina, they had previously enrolled in the following institutions:

Institution No. of Students

  • Delgado Community College 1
  • Dillard University 1
  • Loyola University – New Orleans 4
  • Southern University 1
  • Tulane University 9
  • University of New Orleans 2
  • Xavier University 16

In an attempt to help these students, the following actions have been undertaken to provide them with academic and social support:

- All students have been given free tuition for the fall 2005 semester.

- University Freshman Center reviewed their academic schedules and assisted in the completion of other administrative processes such as registration, housing, etc. They attended special orientation meetings in order to become familiar with the campus, administrative processes and services available. - The students have been offered support from the Counseling Center, University Ministry and Student Affairs. - All students were given a 20% discount from Follett Bookstores toward the purchase of books and supplies; any remaining costs for books and supplies were billed to the University. - All students received laptops, a Storm Card and parking permits, if needed. We are also encouraging the students to return to their home college or university for the spring semester.

In addition, four (4) St. John’s students from the GCR, who were enrolled at St. John’s prior to Hurricane Katrina, have been provided financial assistance and both academic and social support which enabled them to remain in school for the semester.


To date on the Queens Campus, we have a variety of relief activities ranging from academic and social support interventions to prayer services. Fundraising efforts have yielded $ 5,530.55 to date.

The Fundraising campaign is campus-wide:

  • Residence Life – The Residence Directors have coordinated fundraisers in each of the residence halls. Resident Students are asked to donate money to the relief effort in support of the building’s collective effort; all activities are ongoing. To date, $712.34 has been collected.
  • Greek Life – The members of Greek Life held several events which raised $817.10 thus far. Additionally, the Greeks are sponsoring a raffle at $5 per ticket; the raffle prize is a “free” Reserve Parking Space for the semester. All proceeds will go to the relief effort.
  • Campus Activities – The staff has coordinated fundraisers with approximately twenty-five (25) student organizations. These activities include specific fundraising projects as well as partial proceeds from the organization’s events (i.e. mixers, parties). Project A.I.M. and Alpha Mentoring Programs raised $200.46 and other Campus Activities yielded a donation of $3,800.65.
  • Campus Ministry and Campus Activities – In cooperation with Sodexho, we have coordinated an opportunity for students to “Skip-a-Meal” where a portion of the cost for the meal would be contributed to the relief effort. This campaign will be held in October/November. Initial fundraising activities were directed towards the American Red Cross. Current fundraising efforts (beginning September 10th) are being directed to the St. Vincent De Paul Society. Campus ministry along with member of Habitat for Humanity organized a trip to Manhattan to assist the rebuilding of homes for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Beyond fundraising, an “Open Forum/Panel” with faculty panelist to discuss the effects of Hurricane Katrina was held on Thursday, September 22.

Campus Ministry continues to work with individual students who come from the Gulf Coast Region to ensure that their financial and emotional needs are being met. Queens Campus Ministry organized a prayer service and Mass: on Wednesday, September 7, 2005 a university- wide prayer service was held in St. Thomas More Church and on Friday, September 9, 2005 the 12:15pm Mass was celebrated for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Additionally, Campus Ministry continues to invite the campus community to pray for the Hurricane victims at weekday and Sunday Masses. Campus ministry will take the lead a year-long effort to respond to the victims of Katrina. Fraternities and Sororities are being asked to include Katrina relief in their activities. Our expectation is that we focus on monetary donations from now until Christmas, but to continue reminders throughout the academic year.


The Staten Island Campus made great efforts in launching the relief campaign. There have been seven (7) events and donations in the amount of $3,696 so far. This is the summation of activities:

September 2

Greek Council Welcome Back Party
Donations collected at door from members donated to The Salvation Army. $109.00

September 9

Welcome Back BBQ
Sponsored by the Union Program Board
Donations for Red Cross were collected in the amount of $845.00
Student Government has committed to matching the $845 raised by the UPB, for a total of $1690.00

September 12

Donations will were collected and sent to the American Red Cross. $430.00

September 13

“Skip a Lunch”
Sponsored by Lambda Chi and Zeta Beta Tau
Donation sent to the American Red Cross. $340.00

September 15

Bake Sale
Hosted by Delta Kappa Delta

September 7-16

Change donation cans in cafeteria.
Sponsored by Chi Theta Omega
Donations sent to The Salvation Army. $1,116.00

September 9-15

Critical Supplies and Clothes Drive
Donations delivered to Borough Hall and Project Hospitality
Sponsored by Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society
Two (2) truck loads

In addition, the Staten Island campus community also strongly supported the Local Habitat for Humanity through volunteer work to help assemble dozens of prefabricated homes shipped to the GCR. The event was held on Monday, September 26.

A Mass was celebrated on the Staten Island campus; the presider was Fr. Michael Carroll, C.M.


The Manhattan Campus made great efforts to contribute to the relief effort. Five (5) major events are being supported by the campus community:

School Supplies Drive September 22nd -October 7th

Sponsor: Office of Student Life and Campus Director’s Office
We are collecting school supplies to be distributed to children displaced by Hurricane Katrina. St. John's book bags donated by the Office of Student Life will be filled with donations and go directly to Grace Baptist Academy in Houston, TX, which is currently working with the children. Suggested items include: pens, pencils, markers, paper, notebooks, scissors, coloring books, staplers etc.

“Saving Lives One Drop at a Time” Blood Drive September 27th

Sponsor: Office of Student Life
The Office of Student Life sponsored a Blood Drive on the Manhattan Campus to help raise reserves and awareness about the New York-area blood supply. The Blood Drive was also the campus’ effort to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Event was also opened to the public

“A Gift from the Heart: Show Someone that You Care” September 25th – 30th

Sponsor: Office of Student Life & Resident Assistants
Resident Students will create handmade cards of encouragement, support and hope for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Cards will be sent to individuals still in shelters.

“Drop Your Change and Change a Life” On-going [until substantial amount is available to donate]

Sponsor: Office of Student Life & Student Government Association
Monetary donations are one of the most efficient means to help those in need. Students, faculty and staff will have an opportunity to assist in this effort by donating their everyday change [more if they can] to help the Victims of Hurricane Katrina. All donations will go to the American Red Cross. Piggy Banks will be located throughout the campus in various offices and in all residence floors.

“A Ticket for a Cause” Fall Semester

Sponsor: Office of Student Life & Student Government Association
Our goal will be to raise a minimum of $1000 through this effort to be donated to the American Red Cross. The Office of Student Life and the Student Government Association will identify a few large scale events being sponsored by our office and will donate 100% of the profits of all ticket sales. Some events already identified will include: Wicked on October 18th, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on November 16th, the Winter Magic Dinner Dance on December 4th, and The Nutcracker on December 8th.

In addition, the Manhattan campus community also strongly supports the building of prefabricated homes with Habitat for Humanity. We are also looking to coordinate a Disaster Preparedness Training on campus with the City’s Office of Emergency Management and the American Red Cross.

In conclusion, St. John's University is making great efforts to assist the Hurricane Katrina victims. The events and fundraising campaign have been widely supported by the three campuses communities. We expect to continue activities and keep a compassionate awareness alive throughout the academic

De Paul University

De Paul University accepted 156 college students and made the commitment to educate them for free. Faculty and neighbors have taken them into their homes. Students have raised money for clothing, books, and computers. They have collected money and supplies to send truckloads of water and other needed items to the south. The university is preparing to send students and faculty to volunteer during the Thanksgiving to New Year’s break.

Eastern Province Relief Efforts

Here is a summary of what I received about Hurricane Katrina efforts by confreres/works in the Province:

  • SJU - more details to follow
  • St. Francis of Assisi, Phila.--the parish took up a collection to Catholic Charities USA.
  • St. John the Baptist Parish, Brooklyn—the parish took up a collection and sent $2620 to the Vincentians in Texas. The children of the school collected toiletries which were sent to Florida as a result of a D.C. request.
  • Immaculate Conception Parish, Phila.---the parish ran a special collection for 2 weekends and sent it to the US Bishops’ Relief Efforts.
  • St. Cecilia’s Parish, Balt.—the parish took up a special collection every weekend in Sept. and made every Friday in Sept. a special day of prayer for the flood victims.
  • St. Joseph’s Seminary(Princeton), St. Vincent’s Seminary(Phila.), Meade Hall at Niagara University, Oyster Bay, and Queens Village sent house and individual contributions to either the NOLA Relief Fund or the Southern Province.

Southern Province of the Vincentians Establishes Relief Fund Posted on Thursday, September 01, 2005 @ 10:59:07 EDT by jbf

Fr. Dan Borlik CM announced that his Province is setting up an emergency relief fund that Perry Henry and George Weber will be distributing from Holy Trinity Pastoral Center in Dallas as needs become more specific.
Donations can be sent to:
Congregation of the Mission
NOLA Relief Fund / Fr. Perry Henry, C.M.
3826 Gilbert Ave.
Dallas, TX 75219

SJU Offering Free Enrollment to Students Affected by Katrina

Posted on Saturday, September 03, 2005 @ 14:46:04 EDT by jbf
Extending its prayers to all residents of states devastated by Hurricane Katrina, St. John’s University has launched an effort to assist those students the Hurricane has displaced from Gulf Coast colleges and universities.
The University invites New York students who are currently enrolled at the affected Gulf-area institutions to attend classes at St. John’s during this interim period at no expense. St. John’s will strive to accommodate as many students as possible as long as space permits.
For more information about this relief effort, please contact Matthew Whelan, Director of Admission, at (718) 990-2028.

Message from the President of St. John's University

Tuesday, September 6, 2005
In recent days, all of us have been deeply moved by the scenes of utter devastation that resulted from Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, Mississippi and other southern states. I am confident that I speak for our entire University community in saying that our thoughts and prayers are with those who are suffering.
The tragedy has had a direct impact on the lives of some members of our own University community. Several students are from the devastated region, and many of our alumni live in New Orleans or other areas that were severely damaged.
As always, St. John’s is committed to helping those in need. Let me share with you the steps that we have taken to do our part:
1) We have opened our classrooms to students from universities in the impacted area free of tuition charges for this semester. Several students from Xavier University, Tulane University and Loyola University are already enrolled. Over 20 other students have expressed interest in studying here for this semester.
2) At my request, Fr. Jim Maher is reaching out to current students from the affected region to provide them with any assistance necessary to ensure that financial hardship resulting from the hurricane will not force them to leave St. John’s.
3) Several members of the University community have indicated interest in contributing to a fund that would help St. John’s alumni and students who have been affected by the tragedy. While we will not actively solicit such donations, we will make sure that any gifts received are passed on to St. John’s alumni and students who are in need.
Should you have other suggestions on how we can help, please contact Fr. Maher at or at extension 6570.
To provide an opportunity for all members of our University community to come together to remember those who are suffering from this disaster, a special Prayer Service has been scheduled for this Wednesday at 4:45 p.m. in St. Thomas More Church. On Friday, the 12:15 p.m. Mass will be offered for this same intention.
As we move toward the fourth anniversary of 9/11 we are reminded of how people throughout our nation and world helped New York. Now it is our turn to help those who have been affected by a different but still overwhelming tragedy. I know that, as always, our University community will, in the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul, offer its hands and heart to those in need.

Daughters of Charity Relief Initiatives

St. Louis area High School Students Aid Daughters of Charity

A recent walk-a-thon at St. Luke the Evangelist School in Richmond Heights took in almost $7,000 in pledges, said Sister Christian Price, ASCJ, the principal.
Most of the money will go to Catholic Charities USA. "A portion will go to the Seton Fund, administered by the Daughters of Charity who had 38 sisters in New Orleans they had to evacuate. They’ll see to it the money goes to people that need help."

Ladies of Charity Relief Initiatives

Cinncinnati Ladies of Charity

Yes, all packages from the Cincinnati Ladies of Charity have arrived! I checked and counted a huge donation of 18 inflatable beds and many sheet sets, batteries and a pretty blanket with a sweet note from the donor. I could also see many notes taped to some of the other beds as well.

Please send my thanks and the thanks of the families of St. Clement of Rome parish to the Cincinnati Ladies of Charity.

I have already packed half of the beds to be delivered to Father Joe Kraftt this coming weekend. Father Joe has been personally meeting and praying with many families whose homes have flooded. Patrick just delivered 4 beds to him last week for a family of 17 all living in the same house. Many families are staying together in one home, as the other members of the family have flooded homes that are now uninhabitable. The other beds will go to SCR families on my request list.

In the last month, Operation: Hope Floats has matched over 100 beds from caring donors all over the United States, like you and the Cincinnati Ladies of Charity, with St. Clement of Rome families who need them.

The beds are a simple comfort for these families as most of them are rebuilding their lives and homes from almost nothing.

Thank you all again for your generous donation to these families and your prayers. When faith and friends come together Hope does Float!

All blessings, Mitzi Taylor

St. Vincent de Paul Relief Initiatives

Vincentians send supplies to hurricane victims

With the help of a local radio station and several Portland and Vancouver companies, members of the Portland chapter of St. Vincent de Paul left last week to deliver 12,000 pounds of water, food and baby supplies to a food bank in Lubbock, Texas.
St. Vincent de Paul employee, Charles Ashcraft, a St. Vincent worker for 20 years, drove the truck packed with goods. Two employees and three volunteers from Wal-Mart sorted, boxed and shrink wrapped all the items.
Z100 FM radio collected $500 to help offset the cost of fuel for the trip, as well as getting several companies to donate supplies.
Brattian Idealease donated the truck, which ended up dropping off supplies at America’s Second Harvest food bank in Lubbock.
Vincentians are also collecting monetary donations that will go directly to the national St. Vincent de Paul office, to be distributed to St. Vincent de Paul branches within all stricken areas.
“We feel for all humans who have suffered catastrophe in their lives,” said Sharon Hills, of St. Vincent de Paul of Portland.

"More than 400 people from the Louisiana area are now in the Portland area living with relatives or on a week-to-week basis in assisted housing.

“One family here in the Portland area had relatives who lived in New Orleans,” said Hills. “They pulled together enough funds to drive to the area and pick up all their family members who had become homeless due to Hurricane Katrina. A week ago they arrived here in Portland with nothing. The original Portland family is now facing the burden of additional people to support. Someone told them ‘St. Vincent de Paul will help.’ And we did. We gave them food, clothing and the extra household items they required.”

SVDP Appeal for Victims of Katrina

Posted on Tuesday, August 30, 2005 @ 22:03:41 EDT by jbf
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul National Council has issued an urgent call for disaster funds to immediately send to the Society's offices in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana, for direct aid to the victims of the on-going disaster affecting millions of Americans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Contributions may be sent to: The National Council, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, 58 Progress Pkwy., St. Louis, MO 63043-3706; or, for credit card online, donate via the "Tribute" function.
Listing of all Councils of the SVDP Southeastern Region

St. Vincent de Paul in Baton Rouge

has set up a Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund. Chief executive officer Michael Acaldo said, "Local funds will stay locally."
Donations by check can be made out to St. Vincent de Paul, Hurricane Relief, P.O. Box 127, Baton Rouge, LA, 70821. Donated goods can be delivered to St. Vincent de Paul drop offs at 2655 Plank Road and 1010 Nicholson Drive. Call (225) 383-7837.
"We are trying to feed as many people as we can, especially at some of the smaller shelters. We are also providing clothing, toiletry items and some limited prescription service."

{ said, "We can certainly use backpacks or duffel bags as well as canned goods and children's and infants' clothing.

SVDP Northern Kentucky

A group that helps people find new homes in Northern Kentucky every day has teamed up with St. Vincent de Paul charity to help hurricane victims.
More than a thousand members of the Northern Kentucky Association of Realtors (NKAR) collected bottled water, canned and boxed food as well as cleaning supplies.
On Tuesday afternoon they loaded St. Vincent de Paul trucks to send the supplies south to distribution centers in Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia.
"Realtors -- we sell the 'American Dream' -- and to watch it on TV and see people lose everything they had, is very disheartening," said Barb Massman, of Coldwell Banker Westshell.
Realtors will keep collecting at the office located on Turkeyfoot Road and Crestview Hills in Edgewood.
They need diapers, towels, hygiene products, clothing and cleaning supplies.
SVDP Northern Kentucky

SVDP Cinncinatti

"St. Vincent de Paul are accepting basic necessity donations 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Donatos locations, 6407 Glenway Ave., 810 Kemper Commons Circle, and Interstate 75 and Tylersville road. Call (513) 562-8841, ext. 26, or

SVDP - Ocala Area group working to find homes Ocala News

CLERMONT - Jim Barbarino's philosophy about helping others is pretty simple: "If we can't help, family to family," he asks, "what good are we?"
Barbarino is a member of the non-profit St. Vincent de Paul Society, a charitable Catholic lay organization formed in 1833. He's also at the center of an evolving effort to find hosts for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Barbarino is looking for people who will welcome displaced families and individuals into their homes for three to four months, or longer.
Speaking from his Clermont home on Saturday night, he said "This idea has been germinating all week. We have a mother-in-law suite. With that, we could bring a family down. They could maintain their family integrity, their family unit."
Barbarino says he figured if he could take care of one family, maybe he could take care of "five families, or 10." So he started making phone calls and sending out e-mails. With a boost from a local television station, his plan mushroomed.
On Saturday night, Barbarino estimated he had between 150 - 175 host homes, including an entire 2-bed, 3-bath house, condos, and a beach home.
"It's brand new stuff," Barbarino says, "never lived in. Some people say, 'We have a house, but no furniture.' Some people on fixed incomes, they tell me, 'We have a bedroom. We just can't feed them.'
"People just can't do enough. This is people helping other people, just like we had people from all over the states coming here with last year's hurricanes. I'm grateful, and a lot of people in our church are grateful that no one was a serious victim of last year's storms. Part of it's giving back. Part of it's paying forward."
Barbarino predicts that he'll have 250 host homes by the time the holiday weekend is over.
"We're getting people from all over Central Florida," he said. "I've been on the phone and e-mailing all day."
Part of Barbarino's plan is to collect non-perishable food, furniture, and clothing. He noted that in Mississippi, some people even lost the clothes on their backs.
Technically, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is the lead group in the effort to find host homes for Katrina victims. Father Mark Wegg of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Clermont said people have been contacting the parish's St. Vincent de Paul office all week, and they have specifically been contacting Barbarino. Father Wegg anticipates that by Tuesday, the bishop for the Diocese of Orlando will have put his official stamp of approval on the plan to have Catholic Charities coordinate the relief effort with the St. Vincent de Paul volunteers.
In the meantime, Wegg has asked his parishioners to be as generous as possible.
Speaking of the host home plan, Wegg says, "It's a calling from God. We're going to do it to the best of our ability."
Thousands of homes have been offered nationwide to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, many of them posted on one or more of a handful of Web sites, or on a hurricane housing hotline. What makes Barbarino's effort different is that both the hosts and the guests are to undergo criminal background checks.
For logistical reasons, Barbarino has focused on hurricane refugees from Mississippi. He said he is in contact with emergency management personnel in Mississippi, and gives Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott credit for easing his way through the state's bureaucracy.
Barbarino is trying to interest Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in using the host-home plan as a model for dealing with major catastrophes within the state. To contact Barbarino, e-mail him at, or call him at (407) 497-6813.

SVDP of San Antonio

is accepting monetary donations, bath towels and washcloths, either new or used but clean. They need 5,000 of each. For more information, call (210) 225-7837.

SVDP Phoenix

The St. Vincent de Paul is mobilizing its corps of volunteers in the Gulf Coast region to feed the hungry and help the homeless who are suffering in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.
Donations may be made by calling (602) 261-6814. Donations marked "Katrina relief" may also be mailed to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, P.O. Box 13600, Phoenix, AZ 85002.

SVDP Billings Montana

St. Vincent Healthcare is working collaboratively with all Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth hospitals across the country to provide a coordinated approach to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
Through the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System, the hospital is coordinating a number of efforts, including helping with the deployment of medical and spiritual relief personnel.
LSCLHS has contributed $10,000 to relief efforts - $5,000 to the Red Cross and $5,000 to Catholic Charities, and the St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation has established a Hurricane Katrina disaster-relief fund to receive employee contributions.
Many St. Vincent employees have personal contact with physicians and other personnel working in aid stations and at makeshift relief shelters, and SCLHS will assist where possible. St. Vincent is also working with local business people to evaluate options to help schoolchildren displaced by the hurricane.

Other Vincentian Family Relief Initiatives

Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Offer More Aid to Katrina Victims

St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica and its parent company, Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health Systems (SCLHS), have been working with the Mississippi Nursing Board and the Department of Health and Human Services to respond to the need for nurses and other staff, in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.
An initial rapid response team of four nurses from St. John's (SJHC) traveled this week to Poplarville, Miss., to help with the dire nursing shortage at Pearl River County Hospital. The hospital is 40 miles from the Gulf Coast, and has taken many patients in from other hospitals in the region that were out of commission.
The SJHC team will serve for one week and then be replaced by a similar team from St. Vincent Healthcare (SVH), another affiliate hospital based in Billings, Mont., in turn to be replaced by another SCLHS affiliate team. These rapid response teams will fulfill a one-week commitment to answer the most immediate needs.
In conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services, plans are being made to build several larger teams of approximately 25 people per team to answer longer-term needs. These teams would ideally volunteer for two-week assignments with plans for them to rotate. Teams would be comprised of staff across the System from a variety of disciplines, including nursing, physicians, respiratory therapists, and mental health professionals.
St. John's and SCLHS are also collecting donations and matching employee contributions up to $100,000. SCLHS will direct all money collected to Catholic Charities USA and American Red Cross, to be shared equally. Each affiliate foundation of SCLHS, including St. John's, has established a Hurricane Katrina disaster relief fund to directly receive employee contributions to this fund. Employees can also donate their paid time off.
"The need now is for continued financial support and caregivers, to help those with chronic illnesses and to replace staff who need relief," said Mary Ellen Blakley, St. John's vice president of patient care services. "It is anticipated that this will be a long-term effort for St. John's and SCLHS. Because we have been thorough in our planning, we have a process in place to provide a sustained level of volunteers."

Glad Tidings

Sisters of Charity - Leavenworth

St. Vincent Healthcare Billings, Montana is donating medical supplies, pharmaceuticals and nutritional supplements, which will be trucked to the Gulf region.
St. Vincent has also established a relief fund, to which the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth donated $10,000 and will match employee.
Billings Gazette
Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health Care}

Association of the Miraculous Medal

The Association of the Miraculous Medal offers a page with the following suggestions...

Send your petitions for remembrance at the Shrine
Say a Prayer for the Victims of this disaster
Burn a Votive Light
Send a Spiritual remembrance card to a loved one
Send A Donation to the St. Vincent de Paul Society