After over four years and with over 150 volunteers who have served with us, Hope’s on the Way is winding down with their last trip to Slidell, Louisiana, October 3-9, 2009. Eleven members will make the eleventh mission. We began in January of 2006, six months after hurricane Katrina ravaged the shores of Louisiana. During these years we have cleaned out the old and made ready for the new. We have applied countless gallons of paint, installed ceramic tile, doors, floors, wall board, ceilings, lighting, electric, air conditioners, furnaces, roofing, kitchens, cabinetry, siding, sidewalks, children’s play sets, canopies, sod, landscaping, and even cut grass. We have seen New Orleans and its surrounding communities come back to life; not as before, but with new fervor and grace.
Photo from Left: Deacon Joe Winblad, Barb Grzenia, Pat Anderson, Ruth Kroll, Chris Cullen, Amy Pellettiere, Don Kregiel, Joe Lelli, Tom Rinke and Deacon Sal Lema. (Not pictured but also on the mission, Norine Abramovic)
As Hope’s on the way does with each trip, those going down each receive a wooden cross, a copy of a Carmelite cross that was given to us in support of our first trip to New Orleans when we assisted the Sisters of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the Lakeview area. That cross has been a symbol of our faith and our commitment. We carry our cross to help those in need carry theirs.
On this trip we say a fond farewell to so many we have met along the way. It is a joyful time for we are glad that the emergency is over, but we will miss those who have become our friends.
Future work through Hope’s on the Way will be locally as we concentrate our efforts on helping agencies within our own Archdiocese.