The floods of August 2016 turned practically all of south Louisiana into an inland lake. Enough rain fell to fill Lake Pontchartrain four times, flooding about 140,000 households and rivaling the scope of devastation wrought by Superstorm Sandy. Neighborhoods, homes and businesses flooded that were well out of the flood plain, and the inundation exceeded a 1,000-year flood level. More than 30,000 people were rescued. Nearly 200,000 houses and 11 percent of the state’s population was affected either directly or indirectly.
The day after the rain ceased, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge went to work, initially focusing on families and individuals in the shelters. As of Aug. 30, we’ve done case work on 850 families, or about 2,000 individuals.
On Saturday, September 17, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge will hold its 5th annual Citizenship Day at the Jones Creek Library. There you can find free naturalization application assistance to qualified green card holders. Participants will receive an eligibility review with a trained immigration law professional as well as assistance completing the required forms. Please call to reserve your space today! 225-346-0660 or 225-376-6849. Click here to find out what you need to bring. English Spanish
Published in The Advocate, 3/22/2015
By Andrea Gallo, The Advocate reporter
Twelve minutes before she was to be reunited with her son, Catherine Clarke broke down.
More than 10 years of missing her baby boy — who she left at a refugee camp in western sub-Saharan Africa when he was a teenager and she came to the United States — came tumbling out of her. The 59-year-old mother screamed, hissed, sobbed and laughed as she squirmed in a plastic gray chair at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge (CCDBR) initiated its Incident Management Plan to respond to the floods inundating our Diocese. The group is asking for cash donations to help meet those needs.
"While the exact role and activities will vary and be unique to each disaster,” said David Aguillard, CCDBR Executive Director, "we focus on filling gaps in existing services, primarily for the most vulnerable populations and those with the greatest needs.”
At this time, the Disaster Operations staff are contacting entities within the affected parishes, churches, GOHSEP, and VOAD, identifying special needs populations and finding where gaps in services might exist. From there the agency will develop a plan of action for their response in the initial relief stage of the disaster. Once the damages are assessed, they’ll start preparing for the recovery phase of the disaster.
Published in The Advocate, 3/5/2016
Abortion alternative presented
by Mark H. Hunter, Special to The Advocate
Nina, a waitress who works in a busy New York City restaurant, discovers she is pregnant and decides to have an abortion because, she tells a friend, “I can’t even take care of myself, let alone a baby.”
Her friend Jose, the restaurant’s chef, counsels her to consider adoption but supports her by accompanying her to an abortion clinic. While lying on the table, Nina realizes she can’t go through with it and eventually gives the baby up for adoption to Jose, who is not the biological father.