Watching the devastation

Watching the devastation

I’m watching the devastation of the Gulf coast on TV and can’t believe it. I spent a week in Gulfport, Mississippi, in 1994, I think it was. A friend was teaching at a Catholic high school there and invited a group of us to come down during spring break from Franciscan University to help him with a retreat for his students.

I can’t emphasize enough how nice the people were. Our first morning there, we had a knock on the door of my friend’s house where we were staying, and when I opened it, there was a mom of one of the students. “I brought you boys a pecan pie I just made,” she said in her charming Southern accent.  That was just one example of the hospitality and charm we encountered.

Now I’m watching the news and seeing 60-70 percent of New Orleans flooded, homes on fire with no fire trucks to put them out. Gulfport is absolutely wrecked. The floating casinos that were lined up on the oceanfront are gone, some of them split in half! these were not small boats, but huge floating buildings.

I recall one oceanfront home in particular. It was shaped like a pyramid with storm shutters that could close to form smooth sides. I was told that it was built like that to withstand hurricanes. I’m sure all of the other homes that were there are gone, but I’m curious if that one stood. I don’t think I’ll ever find out.

My prayers are with the people of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama today.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli