Masses, prayers taking place in midst of Katrina recovery

By Catholic News Service

NEW ORLEANS (CNS) -- New Orleans Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes planned to celebrate Sunday Mass Oct. 2 at the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans.

The Mass would be the first to be celebrated in the cathedral since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city.

During the Oct. 1-2 weekend, Sunday Masses were to be celebrated in 69 of the 142 parish churches in the archdiocese.

In Mississippi, Bishop Joseph N. Latino of Jackson has dedicated October as a month of prayer and eucharistic adoration for those affected by Hurricane Katrina and those coordinating relief efforts.

"We have been so heavily involved in relief efforts and many of us are getting stressed and frayed around the edges. I felt it would be good for us to take some time to refuel our engines through prayer and adoration," Bishop Latino said in a press release.

"This does not mean we will stop or slow down our efforts in any way, but we will be providing some spiritual nourishment in addition to all the material nourishment we have been giving," he added.

Since the storm hit Aug. 29, many Catholics in the Jackson Diocese have been housing evacuees or delivering supplies to those in need.

"We are very aware that relief efforts will be ongoing for several months and we as a diocesan community are committed to the long haul," Bishop Latino said.

"A month dedicated to prayer before the Blessed Sacrament will help us draw strength to continue this vital task at this moment in our history as a church family," he added. "The Eucharist is the center and foundation of our faith as Catholics. It is what keeps us going especially when things get rough."

Copyright (c) 2005 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

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