Essex Parishes Helping Others - October 2007
From the North Country Catholic - October 24, 2007
Essex parishes continue to help other parishes in need
Schroon Lake - At the time of Hurricane Katrina the American Bishops asked the United States Catholic Extension Society to coordinate a program in which parishes could assist in the recovery of churches damaged by the Gulf Shore storm. The Society organized the Parish Partnership Program and designated churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas that were in need of assistance.
The Parish Councils of Our Lady of Lourdes in Schroon Lake and St. Joseph's in Olmstedville voted to make monthly contributions for a period of one year to Saint Ann's Church in Lakeside, Mississippi in the Diocese of Biloxi.
Deacon Lucien Moragas, assigned to the devastated parish, was invited to come to the Diocese of Ogdensburg and speak to the parishioners of both churches as part of the Mission Co-op Appeal in July 2006. A total of $12,500.00 was contributed by Our Lady of Lourdes and Saint Joseph's as part of the Parish Partnership Program as well as contributors to the missionary appeal.
In a recent phone call to Father Richard Sturtz, pastor of the two parishes, Deacon Moragas informed him that Saint Ann's Church has been fully restored although many parishioners are still living in temporary housing.
Following the success of the Parish Partnership Program in the Gulf Shore states, the Catholic Extension Society decided to give parishes the opportunity to assist other needy congregations throughout the United States.
The churches in Schroon Lake and Olmstedville, along with 317 parishes in 113 dioceses, are continuing in the program in partnership with the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother in Kenel, South Dakota.
The mission church is located on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in the Diocese of Rapid City. The parish consists of 53 families of the Lakota Tribe, proud descendants of Chief Sitting Bull.
According to their pastor, the weekly income amounts only to $65.00 because of the high unemployment among the Native American parishioners. Recently two Benedictine Sisters have come to the reservation to conduct a religious education program for the children in Kenel as well as other churches under the pastor's charge.
Obviously, partnership between the Catholic Communities of Schroon Lake and Olmstedville and the mission in Kenel will be an ongoing commitment, Father Sturtz said.
Read more about the mission church in Kenel, South Dakota from the Extension Society web site.