NOLA: Mass in honor of St. Pio

The Lord is kind and merciful. That is the refrain of our congregation today as we gathered to celebrate the Mass of St. Pio. The prophetic readings announce to us Gods call to follow His will and to announce to others that HE is the Christ, our Savior, who walks with us in faith.


Memorial of St. Januarius (in Gretna)

Dear Family and friends,
Today was another difficult day for St. Rosalie parish. We began, as usual, with the celebration of the Eucharist and the numbers begin to pick up. The Harvey Fire Department came during Mass and gave us five cases of fresh fruit to distribute thru the parish. Teachers began to return and view the damage of their classrooms and the school campus. There were many, many tears. At ten o?clock we gathered for a Prayer Service in Church, shared a few stories of faith, and then quickly made plans to begin to clean up.


25th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Gretna)

Greetings from Harvey and St. Rosalie Parish!
Today was a great day to celebrate the Gift of the Eucharist with family and friends. We celebrated two Masses, 8am and 11am. They were great expressions of faith for parishioners and my family. My Aunt Dee and her family attended the 11am Mass and shared where their children and grandchildren are located. It is a great relief to know that they are all safe, even if they are in Texas, Florida, and Virginia.


More news from New Orleans

From Father Jon:
Dear Friends,
There is always light at the end of the tunnel. Today we began with the celebration of Mass in St. Rosalie Church. The Parishoners had to use the side entrance since the front door, blown off by the storm, is still boarded up and had cinder blocks for extra security. There were 11 people at Mass, grateful for the opportunity to gather and pray. Many cried as the Blessed Sacrament was placed once again in the Tabernacle and the sanctuary light was lit for the first time in over two weeks.


St. Rosalie after Katrina

Father Jon Parks, pastor of St. Rosalie in Gretna (across the Mississippi from the French Quarter) and the man who presided over Jennifer and Tom’s wedding, is currently here in NY at the Salesian headquarters. He hopes to be back in NOLA to say mass on Monday.
He sent some pictures of his church after the storm:

When he returns, Fr. Jon will be collecting donations to help get his flock back on their feet. Check back here for details.


News from New Orleans

Jen and Tom’s good friend Fr. Jon Parks is a resident of New Orleans. There has been a lot of concern for him and it turns out he is alive and well…
Dear Salesians, family, and friends….
Pray for all the parishoners at St. Rosalie in Harvey and the Salesians from our priests,brothers and sisters and all who are displaced because of Hurricane Katrina.
Yesterday Fr.Jim Curran and I left via Baton Rouge–Fr. Jim is in New York and I am with friends in Tampa. The other Salesians from Marrero and Harvey are at Mary Help of Christians Schoool in Tampa while the Salesian Sisters are going to move to their respective Mother Houses in Texas and New York.
I received a phone call from the Gretna Police (where my mom’s house is) and they said power and water are restored. There is some electricity back in Marrero and in Westwego, but the lawlessness continues in all areas of the cities and until that ends then no one can go back.
My family is fine, my sister, brother in law, niece and grand nephew are on their way to Virginia, and won’t arrive for another day or so.. the travel is slow, my brother in law is quite sick.
I received a call that Mr. Lenny Thibodeaux died, the father of Jeremy Thibodeaux. He reamined in Marrero and expired from a heart attach. Have been playing phone tag with many people in the south, as cell phones allow…things are bad but are getting better slowly.
The Salesians count on your prayers for all of the victims, and for our ministries.
If anyone cares to help, a fund will be set up at St. Rosalie’s to help the kids in the area upon our return, pray God soon. Until then pray for all of us and know of my prayers.
My cell phone is off and on since I have a LA area code.. ugh…
May God Bless each one of you…. Fr. Jon Parks

It is great to know he is well and our prayers are with Jon and his family.