Remembering Hurricane Irma and Responding to Hurricane Dorian

Irma Still Fresh in Our Minds 2 Years Later, Action to Assist Dorian Victims

For many of us, it still feels like yesterday. The ache in the pit of our stomachs, like the first drop on a roller coaster, as we realized Irma was actually coming ashore as a significant hurricane, targeted directly at us here in Naples. We all did everything we possibly could to prepare our church and our own lives for the inevitable carnage that was about to befall us, but we could not imagine what would transpire. Wind pulling our church roof apart, knocking over every oak tree, cutting some palms in half, and destabilizing our bell tower. Rain and water seeping into every inch of our campus buildings, soaking the Ballroom through to the wooden studs. Power lines snapped and transformers blown. Air conditioners speared with our own roof tiles. If the predicted 10-12 ft storm surge had occurred as predicted, our altar would have been under water.

Thankfully, the seas receded rather than encroached. We were without power for 2 weeks, but we were blessed with a Parish Family that would not be broken. Instead, we rose to help those around us with food, clothing, water, ice, and diapers, becoming one of the main distribution points for North Naples, even distributing meals to Naples Park Elementary families 3 weeks after the storm.

The direct impact of Irma on our area has left deep wounds that were reopened this past week with Hurricane Dorian. From worries for our own outcome to the anguish we are now feeling for those that now have to deal with their own recovery from a major strike in the Bahamas and North Carolina, our hearts cry out. We will be having a Second Collection next weekend (September 28 & 29) in support of those victims through Catholic Relief Services, who have “boots on the ground” in the Bahamas right now and can ensure every dollar we send will be used to save and rebuild lives. It will take years for them (just as it did for us), but with our love, prayers, and action, we can assist our fellow members of our human family.

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