Your Church in Action in Ian’s Aftermath

My Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ,
We hope that this weekend’s edition of our Electronic Bulletin Newsletter finds you and your families safe and well. It has truly been an intense and scary couple of days, with local clean-up continuing for a while to come. But for all that has happened here, let us not forget that there are others who are much worse off, particularly those in Fort Meyers, Sanibel Island, and their surrounding areas. Remember to keep them in prayer. The beauty of faith is that the fulfillment of prayer comes with the ‘action’ that follows it. And we, as Church, want to participate in both!

On a local level, I spent much of this past Thursday (and Friday afternoon) making ‘wellness check’ phone calls to various parishioners in each of our sub divisions, to see how they were doing, if they had any needs, and how their homes and sub divisions fared with the high winds and pounding rain. Power outages were very common, but happy to say that everyone and everything was okay. I also called various parishioners living in rural and country areas, and they experienced the same. My final ‘wellness check’ phone calls were to our senior parishioners aged eighty and over. Most of them answered the phone and were okay. Maybe six phone numbers had been changed or were not in service at the moment, so I couldn’t get ahold of them. Hopefully they are reading this
and know that we tried. I apologize that I could not call everyone personally.

I also went out to tour the Lake Nona area Thursday afternoon. Some street flooding, lots of debris, and a few downed trees, but, for the most part, I was able to get through town. Road and
construction equipment were all put away and today (Friday) they were putting things back up to continue.

Narcoossee Middle School is a designated hurricane shelter, so today (Friday) I got pastries from one of our local restaurants and went to visit the evacuees staying at our Church to see how they
were doing. Most of the families who stayed there the past couple of nights had returned home, but the several families who remained had no home left to go to, and submerged automobiles that were useless. Busses brought them to the shelter. I was able to find hotel rooms (breakfast included) for all of them and, with the help of Fr. Roy, transported them and their salvaged belongings to the hotel for a week. They also were provided with new phone chargers, and were given food, Uber, and gift cards that will last them for at least 7-10 days.

Finally, since we are fortunate to be able to have Masses this weekend at the Church, I would ask for your kindness in the Second Collection Box that will assist those on the West coast of
Florida in their struggles and recovery efforts. You can also donate online by following this link. Our Church is in action here and afar – and any donation you can make will be greatly appreciated by them. And also pray for those who were taken to Heaven by this devastation. May they rest in the loving arms of Christ. Amen

Peace & All Good Things,
Fr. Charles, Fr. Roy, & Your Ministry Leads