Monday, September 29, 2008

The Will to Hope

His first see city reopened, but much of it still without utilities and under curfew, its streets piled up with residents' belongings, Cardinal Dan DiNardo of Galveston-Houston made his second trip to the Ike-ravaged island yesterday, this time for Mass:
Although many parishioners are unable to return to Galveston because of damage to their homes, those who remained filled St. Patrick Church to hear DiNardo urge them to rely on their faith to see them through the recovery.

"We need to be patient and also trust in the Lord," DiNardo said.

St. Patrick's was built in 1870 and raised 5 feet after the devastating 1900 hurricane that killed at least 6,000, the worst disaster in U.S. history.

When Ike struck, the additional height kept storm water from the church proper, but the basement, priests' quarters and school suffered heavily, church officials said.

Eight feet of water damaged St. Mary's, the oldest Catholic cathedral in Texas, built in 1847, St. Mary's rector, the Rev. Brendon Murphy, said.

The Reina de la Paz Catholic Church was a total loss, Murphy said.

Parishioner Euframia Vina, 65, of Galveston, a CPA who lost her job after Ike's floodwaters destroyed her firm's office, took solace from DiNardo's words.

"The Mass was so touching, it gave me hope," Vina said....

DiNardo, in an interview following the Mass, said he saw a will to recover in the faces of the congregants. "I noticed in them a genuine spirit of hope," he said.
For more, video from H-Town's CBS affiliate, and a shot-gallery in today's Chron.

As previously noted, St Mary's Cathedral-Basilica remains closed pending extensive cleaning and repairs. And the region's Catholic Charities needs whatever help it can get.

Quote of the Day comes from a local woman interviewed after the Mass: "A lot of my major stuff is [in] the street -- I think God wanted me to downsize, and I'm downsized now."

As she said it, she was smiling... the power of faith.

PHOTO: Eric Kayne/Houston Chronicle