Our Lady of the Sea

Our Lady of the Sea Catholic Church was completely devastated by Hurricane Rita in 2005 and again by Hurricane Laura in August.

I saw a statement on Facebook that has me deeply concerned about the Catholic churches in Cameron Parish. We have been hit here twice in the last two months by Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Delta.  Most people have lost everything and those that still have something need a lot of repairs. Now we are hearing Our Lady Star of the Sea Cameron, Sacred Heart of Jesus in Creole and St. Eugene in Grand Chenier are not going to be repaired leaving us with no churches to gather and worship God at this time. I just feel our faith is being tried at this time and it is not a good time to shut us all off from our churches. Couldn’t we at least have one church opened?

Monsignor Daniel Torres, vicar general of the Diocese of Lake Charles and pastor of Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church, said there will continue to be a Catholic presence in those areas and any information to the contrary is “unfounded.”

“The Diocese has not made any decisions because the Catholic faithful of these parishes have been asked to send their suggestions, thoughts and concerns to me at daniel.torres@lcdiocese.org so I can report back to the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese which will make a recommendation to the Bishop,” Torres said. “This gathering of information has not been completed.”

Torres said two town hall meetings have been held in the area — on Sept. 29 and Oct. 1 — to hear the thoughts and concerns of parishioners.

“We’re still gathering more information because many haven’t returned from the evacuation and weren’t able to attend the town hall meetings,” he said. “I’ve received several emails with suggestions from those who couldn’t attend and (State) Rep. Ryan Bourriaque suggested we do an online survey, which we are testing now to make sure it’s safe. We hope to have it online by the end of October.”

He said hard copies will also be given to parishioners attending Mass on the last weekend of October for their input.

“This is the fourth hurricane we’ve gone through in this area,” Torres said. “Insurance has gone up and the population has shifted and we’re still trying to make decisions. We’re gathering information, so rumors out there about churches being closed are false.”

Torres said the church is “trying to find a solution for the good of all the people.”

I live in Moss Bluff and I feel like every other street has had their hurricane debris picked up but ours. Are the trucks still picking up debris?

Yes, the parish debris contractor has resumed pickup following Hurricane Delta’s landfall in the area.

A total of 140 trucks are removing debris daily from the 1,100 miles of parish roads, according to the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury.

The debris is then being taken to eight temporary landfills — and more are being added to quicken the process.

The parish estimates the trucks are picking up about 60,000 cubic yards of debris a day.

The Informer is written by Crystal Stevenson, American Press executive editor. To ask a question, call 494-4098 and leave a voice mail, or email informer@americanpress.com.