Immaculate Heart of Mary
parishioners send aid to
Louisiana hurricane survivors

Members of Immaculate Heart of Mary’s Knights of St. Peter Claver Council #226, along with the Ladies Auxiliary and the Junior Daughters Division, are sending aid to hurricane survivors in Louisiana. (Still capture from Diocese of Houma Thibodaux video message)

Dianne Judie, a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, remembers the sadness she felt when Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans, La., in 2005, leaving her home under six feet of water.

She and her family lost almost everything they owned and had to relocate to Louisville, some 700 miles away from home.

“The people (of Immaculate Heart of Mary) were so welcoming and we were just so grateful,” she said.

She’s thankful today that parishioners of Immaculate Heart of Mary are reaching out again to help hurricane survivors in Louisiana, she said.

The parish’s Knights of St. Peter Claver Council #226, along with the Ladies Auxiliary and the Junior Daughters Division, raised $1,000 to assist survivors of Hurricane Ida, which hit parts of Louisiana in late August.

On Sept. 9, Catholic News Service reported that Ida was one of the most powerful storms to hit the state, causing extensive damage in the Gulf Coast region, destroying homes, buildings and churches.

The call to help parishioners in Louisiana came from Bishop Shelton Fabre of the Diocese of Houma Thibodaux, said Jocqueline Stamps, a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary who serves as the Ladies Auxiliary’s recording secretary.

The destruction to homes caused by Hurricane Ida in the Diocese of Houma Thibodaux is seen in this still shot from a video message where Bishop Shelton of Houma Thibodaux asks the Knights of St. Peter Claver for help for hurricane victims. Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana in late August. (Still capture from Diocese of Houma Thibodaux video message)

In a video message, Bishop Fabre asked the Knights of St. Peter Claver around the nation for help.

“St. Peter Claver gave attention to people who were in great need. … We here along these beautiful bayous are in great need,” said Bishop Fabre.

The funds collected will benefit the members of St. Lucy Church in Houma and St. Luke Church in Thibodaux — two largely Black parishes — he said.

The small help the Knights are sending is a “blessing” and “very much needed,” said Judie, who is the sister-in-law of Father John Judie, a former pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary and a retired priest of the Archdiocese of Louisville.

Dianne Judie has been a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary since moving to Louisville and she sings in the choir — one thing that felt easy to do during that period in her life, she said.

Judie and her family are one of two families from Louisiana who found a new church home at Immaculate Heart of Mary following Hurricane Katrina.

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