News from NOLA

Tuesday, Sept. 27th, 2005
Memorial of St. Vincent de Paul

Dear Family and friends,
Today as we celebrate the memorial of St. Vincent de Paul?the saint who personifies giving to the needy and poor. Most communities in the world have a St. Vincent de Paul Society who gives food, clothing, household items, and whatever the poorest of the poor needed. As we continue to pick up the pieces here at St. Rosalie, and plan for the future, we ask him to guide us in wisdom and judgment.

At 9am the faculty gathered in the cafetorium, making sure that they were not sitting under one of the two holes in the roof. We began with prayer and praise to God and lifted up our voices in thanksgiving for what we have and reflected upon what we have lost, individually and collectively. Then the plans to open school were laid out in detail. As a blessing from heaven, Fr. Mike Conway, sdb, Principal of Archbishop Shaw High School called and offered six classrooms for St. Rosalie?s use. Again, the middle school, located at St. John Bosco is not usable and will probably not be habitable for at least three months. The Family Life Center, which the school uses as a cafeteria, will also take several months to repair. Class lists were prepared, and ?rooms? were handed out based upon space availability and the age of the students.
On Monday, the Parish Center as well as the Youth Center will be used as classrooms for fourth and fifth graders. The Gathering Room of the Church will be used as a classroom as well. I have offered the sanctuary of the Church as a gathering space for the smallest of our students and even suggested the kids could take their naps in the pews.
We will send our seventh and eighth grade students to Archbishop Shaw for the time being. Lunch was prepared by the Robicheaux Family as well as snacks and drinks for some 60 people?another great blessing.
This afternoon the funeral of Mrs. Shirley Holsum, aged 55, who died in Alexandria, Louisiana, from a heart attach. Many parishioners attended and we prayed for all of our friends who have lost loved ones these weeks.
Upon returning, the adjuster finally made an appearance at the parish. We walked around the Church, he took pictures to validate our losses, and as he walked around spoke of two issues?the deductibles that apply to our policies, and how underinsured we are for the property that we have. We will find out what the insurance company will repair and replace in about two weeks, but continue to sign contracts for services once they are approved via fax and phone.
There was a steady stream of friends and family who came to bring two things?snacks for the teachers and school supplies. Two fifth graders came in to bring in their five-dollar contributions to buy school supplies for their classmates.
This evening the administration will meet to assess the needs of the faculty and their financial situations. We are still looking for housing for two of our faculty members.
Pray for us, as we move forward with Mary, Help of Christians as our guide.

In Don Bosco,

Fr. Jon D. Parks, sdb

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