Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Eastern Washington Catholics continue assistance to Katrina-battered Gulf

by Dan Glatt, for the Inland Register

(From the June 12, 2008 edition of the Inland Register)

What happens when we lose something like our spirit? Do we reach out to those who have lost their spirit? Faced with that situation, our reactions, or our inaction, reflect on who we are as a people.

On Aug. 23, 2005, one of the largest hurricanes on record slammed into the Gulf Coast of the United States. The devastation was tremendous and affected nearly every state across the Gulf of Mexico. To this day, nearly three years later, many of these communities continue to rebuild – but they do so with the suspicion that the rest of the country has forgotten them.

Thousands still live in FEMA trailers instead of their own homes. While it seems that the numbers of people living in the trailers has gone down, those numbers do not take into account the families who have now moved into temporary cottages which must be vacated within 18 months of moving in. This means that those families who have received the cottages have 18 months or less to rebuild their homes. This is not easy to do when supplies, contractors, and workers are scarce.

Waveland, Miss., was Ground Zero for Hurricane Katrina. The area was destroyed: homes, businesses, infrastructure. Last year, Spokane Catholic Charities sent a group to assist in rebuilding Waveland and the nearby community of Gulfport. Again this summer a small group will travel from Spokane to Waveland, joining other groups from around the country who are trying to help this devastated area.

St. Clare Recovery, a nonprofit group that is leading the recovery efforts in Waveland, continues to make headway in the rebuilding of Waveland and Gulfport. They need many items to help people get out of the FEMA trailers and temporary cottages.

Last year many families from around the Spokane Diocese assisted us by making a donation to purchase much-needed building supplies and household items for the families in Waveland and Gulfport. This year we again invite Eastern Washington Catholics to assist the volunteers of St. Clare Recovery, with cash donations or gift cards from Lowes, Wal-Mart, or Home Depot.

For more information on the St. Clare Recovery, go to, which includes a list of the many items needed in the area.

(Dan Glatt, Youth Minister at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Spokane, will be part of another crew of seven adults and six high school seniors who will be working with ongoing Katrina recovery efforts in Waveland, July 18-26. Donations can be sent to: Catholic Charities, Attn: Scott Cooper, P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210-1453.

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