.- Armed with only two changes of clothes, New Orleans Archbishop Alfred Hughes--along with hundreds of thousands of refugees, most likely now homeless after the scourge of Hurricane Katrina--spent yesterday in ministry to the frightened and devastated evacuees of the city of New Orleans.
The Baton Rouge Advocate reported that he, and fellow bishop, Robert W. Muench of Baton Rouge spent Wednesday in ministry throughout Louisiana’s packed makeshift shelters.
Bishop Muench was moved by the outpouring of service and volunteerism from young and old alike. "In the midst of this disaster”, he told the Advocate, “we are seeing a great deal of goodness that people are demonstrating to their neighbor and a great deal of care in that we see the work of God to have a neighborly response to one another."
As of Tuesday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had not yet been able to contact any of the bishops in the areas affected by the storm but said a request had come in for a massive nationwide collection to be taken up to aid victims.
That effort is currently underway for as is, what Catholic Charities USA has called one of its largest aid efforts ever to help the devastated Gulf coast region.
Most recently, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco has ordered the evacuation of everyone remaining in New Orleans as floodwaters and lawlessness continue to rise. That effort has temporarily been put on hold however, as gunshots have reportedly been fired at army helicopters helping with the evacuation.