faith in action
Catholic Charities has faced another disaster in the form of the Hard Rock building collapse. True to our reputation for responding in times of disaster, we were there! The Catechism of the Catholic Church (#2447) states: The works of mercy are charitable actions by which we come to the aid of our neighbor in her/his spiritual and bodily necessities.
On Saturday, October 12, 2019 upon hearing of the collapsed building, Division Director Tom Costanza went directly to the site. Tom did not wait to be called; he responded, ready for whatever the need might be. CCANO case managers, social workers and administrative staff were there from the beginning to put FAITH in action to offer HOPE during our city’s time of NEED.
Each day of that week, I spoke to staff members who were directly serving construction workers, city officials, specialists, and family members of the deceased. After every phone call and message, I was ready to pray. I prayed for courage and wisdom for those making decisions, for consolation and comfort for the loved ones suffering loss, and for patience and strength for many business owners who were unable to open their stores/shops/restaurants. I felt helpless, wanting to do something that might relieve the pain, the anguish, or the suffering of another. Praying was what I could do.
As a Catholic and a staff of Catholic Charities, I felt a sense of urgency to respond. CCANO brought the Spiritual & Corporal Works of Mercy to those affected by the disaster by feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and burying the dead. We counseled the doubtful and the sorrowful and helped instruct individuals on their next steps, legal and otherwise.
Our staff members generously committed many hours of service. CCANO has served the displaced residents of the LaSalle Apartments and organized memorials and travel arrangements where needed. Our staff continues to provide counseling to the families and some of the construction crew, as well as working with the family members of the three victims. We are also assisting in coordinating appointments and referrals for specialized trauma services.
Mayor Cantrell, Fire Chief McConnell, and Dr. Jennifer Avegno, Medical Director, have shared their appreciation with us. We will continue to serve to fulfill Jesus’s command, “What you do for the least of my brethren you do FOR ME!”
Sr. Marjorie Hebert, MSC
Learn more about CCANO’s disaster response department here.