9/23/2005

Houses of Faith

Mississippi has houses of faith on just about every street. The ones on the Coast suffered under the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina. It didn't matter which faith: Baptist, Methodist, Episcopal, Catholic, Lutheran, or Jewish.

The Catholic Diocese of Biloxi suffered the loss of 14 churches. Many were heavily damaged, including the one in which I was confirmed, Sacred Heart in D'Iberville. I used to live in D'Iberville 23 years ago and now kinda of sort of still work there.

The First Baptist Church on Highway 90 in Gulfport is no more. The only thing left is the steeple. That one hurts also. A lot of churches have buses that pick up children to attend and I used to ride one to that church. It was also wonderful to look at that majestic church from the beach and was a landmark. It survived Hurricane Camille.

Beth Israel synagogue suffered heavy damage. The back half of the building is gone but a member said that all the Torah Scrolls were safe.

The Church of the Redeemer, Episcopal, which was famous for only having it's bell tower survive Hurricane Camille, is now famous for every thing being destroyed this time. Even the memorial for the those killed during Hurricane Camille suffered damage. There was one thing from the church that survived both storms, a stained glass panel of Jesus with his arms outstretched. This article in the SunHerald has the full story and pictures.

The thing is that even though many houses of faith are gone, the communities and the faith of those who worshiped there are not gone. Catholic masses are being held in surviving Methodist churches. Services are held in the open or under tents. The buildings maybe gone but the faith is still there.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Bob said...

The church has never been housed in a building; sadly it takes devastation like this to remind us of that truth. It is heartening to see people of faith living their faith in the midst of that adversity.

7:28 PM  
Anonymous seawitch said...

bob,

That is true. You hear homilies to that effect but can't really understand it until something like this happens.

7:34 PM  
Blogger Esther said...

It's pretty impressive that people can retain their faith in situations like these hurricanes. I know for many it only serves to increase but it's impressive nonetheless.

9:48 PM  
Anonymous seawitch said...

esther,

Even in in the midst of all this mess, I know God is watching over us. You see His hand in the kindness people show to one another, the volunteers that have come from all across America and Canada to help us, the healing in nature all around. The trees that have looked so unnatural with their leaves gone, are already putting forth new ones. The most delicate butterflies have somehow managed to survive and wildlife in abundance is around.

But mostly it's the people down here that look at one another and after the tears have dried up turn and say it's time to rebuild. God is giving each one of us the strentgh to help each other.

10:18 PM  
Blogger Esther said...

I've always had a hard time finding my way to G-d but I feel i'm finally on my way the last few years. Reading your words makes me feel like I'm getting even closer. Thank you.

7:40 PM  
Anonymous seawitch said...

esther,

Thank you. I have learned it's not a matter of finding G-d, it's just a matter of being open to His greatness and His love.

8:43 PM  

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