LAFITTE, Louisiana (WGNO) – In many ways Sundays were different for parishioners at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Lafitte. The church they once prayed in is now gutted, after four feet of water was swept into the building during Hurricane Ida.
But the meaning of Sundays remains the same.
“The church should be a place of refuge for people when they are in disaster. That is why I have prepared the church here as a shelter where they find comfort, ”said Father Luke Nguyen of St. Anthony Catholic Church.
Despite the damage to the church, members of St. Anthony’s have served the people of Lafitte since Hurricane Ida.
What was once the church hall is now a donation center, stocked with food and supplies.
“This is a great example of family, community and Christian unity at this time,” said volunteer Ellie Melancon.
The donation center on boulevard Jean Lafitte also serves as a place for hot meals and health services, such as tetanus and covid vaccines.
Dozens of locals, like Pearl Wyman, are counting on the center as the recovery continues.
“My husband is disabled and he’s a veteran and he needs clothes, but thank goodness for the community and the people in the community who are trying to help others,” Wyman said.
As those at Lafitte move forward in their recovery, members at St. Anthony’s say they will be there every step of the way, using their time – and faith – to help others.
“We are all together on this journey of life and therefore, we come to help each other. You always have friends next to you to help you, but you also have the church as an anchor, as a place of refuge, ”said Father Luke Nguyen.
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