Hope Surges On: Reflections on Hurricane Katrina ten years later

Eighteen hundred lives lost. A million people displaced, some for years. Sixteen billion dollars in insurance claims. Thousands of homes reduced to rubble or flooded beyond repair. Dozens of churches and schools inundated. A decade ago this week we were still reeling as the pictures of what Hurricane Katrina left came into sharper focus every day. As the chaos of the actual storm subsided, we faced the enormity of what it would take to make things right.
Everyone in this region has a Katrina story. For some, it’s a story of luck – a close call. For others, it is a story of loss and grief, but for many, the story is resilience. As we remember the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, we want to honor your stories, especially the ones still unfolding. This issue of Mississippi Catholic is dedicated to letting people tell their experience during and since Hurricane Katrina. The focus is riding the surge of hope, seeing new life, being thankful for the generosity of our neighbors.
We cannot possibly tell all your stories, but we would love to hear them. We tried to include the perspective of some of our leaders who had to wrap their heads around how to minister to the coastal diaspora as well as some of those who sought and found help here in the Diocese of Jackson. We hope we have honored all those whose lives took a turn during the last week of August 2005.

Personal Reflections:
By Karla Luke  There were three scriptures that kept me sane
By Lindsay Blaylock  She said “Welcome.” Since that day, we have been home

First Response:
By Sr. Donna Gunn   We all belonged to something bigger than ourselves
By Linda Raff    The generosity of people … brought help and hope to so many
By Father David O’Connor    Our visitors would need hospitality for an extended period

A Plan Emerges:
By Msgr. Elvin Sunds   Katrina brought out what is best and noblest in us …
Sr. Deborah Hughes   Opportunity to make Gospel teachings truly come alive

Shepherds reflect:
Bishop Joseph Latino    We, as the community of faith, are the hands and face of God …
Bishop William Houck   Our memories help us to be grateful …
By Archbishop Thomas Rodi   A resiliency that comes from deep within
By Bishop Roger Morin   I oftentimes heard spontaneous prayers of praise to God