Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s visit encourages hurricane-weary Virgin Islanders

first_img Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Tags Presiding Bishop Michael Curry Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Hurricane Irma, Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Rector Knoxville, TN Curate Diocese of Nebraska Rector Hopkinsville, KY Rector Washington, DC The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Submit a Press Release AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Rector Belleville, IL By Amy SowderPosted Jan 17, 2018 Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Hurricane Maria, Submit an Event Listing An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Featured Jobs & Calls This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Rector Bath, NC Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ 2017 Hurricanes, center_img Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Press Release Service Rector Smithfield, NC Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Submit a Job Listing Rector Collierville, TN Youth Minister Lorton, VA Presiding Bishop Michael Curry hugs and greets Episcopalians after leading a packed Eucharist service Jan. 11 at All Saints Cathedral on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The service and following reception were part of his pastoral visit to provide encouragement to those affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria in September. The church is committed to helping throughout the long-term recovery process, Curry said. Photo: Amy Sowder/Episcopal News Service[Episcopal News Service — St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands] George Sebastian crouched in the hallway with his wife while he witnessed Hurricane Irma rip the roof from their home in St. Thomas, the U.S. Virgin Islands on Sept. 6.“I was watching. I was hoping. I was praying,” said Sebastian, a parishioner from All Saints Cathedral, as he pointed to his house on a distant hillside. “I was stressed. I lost everything in a few minutes.”About four months later, Sebastian has a new roof, and he’s driving Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and his contingent around his island during a Jan. 10-12 pastoral visit to the Diocese of the Virgin Islands. Curry listened to Episcopalians share their post-hurricane struggles and stress. He discussed how the church can bolster spirits and communities.Since the horrendous 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, stories like Sebastian’s are many among the Diocese of the Virgin Islands. Curry strove to encourage parishioners.“If you follow Jesus, you are not alone,” Curry told a packed house at All Saints Cathedral. “The truth is, it’s easy to forget that because life has a way of overwhelming you.”George Sebastian, member of All Saints Cathedral on St. Thomas of the U.S. Virgin Islands, lost the roof of his home and much of what was inside. Photo courtesy of George SebastianBesides the logistical problems caused by the physical distance between the islands and the U.S. mainland, there’s the stress of emotional disconnection. Many islanders say they feel far away from the thoughts of mainlanders and the benefits they enjoy. The seemingly endless onslaught of natural and human-made disasters can cause people to suffer from compassion fatigue too.“When you leave, don’t forget us,” urged Derek Gabriel, an All Saints Cathedral parishioner.The long-term effects on the Virgin Islands On Sept. 6, Hurricane Irma hit the Virgin Islands, and on Sept. 20, Maria gave the islands a second beating, both as Category 5 tropical cyclones. Irma pummeled St. Thomas and St. John the most. Then Maria targeted St. Croix, the largest of all the Virgin Islands.Four months later, cruise ships have returned, but some buildings still sit faceless with no walls and exposed beams, and corrugated metal roofs remain rolled up, evidence of the storms’ ferocious winds. Much of the Virgin Islands remains in disrepair with blue tarps coloring the landscape, although 90 percent of power has been restored.All Saints Cathedral men’s club president George Sebastian’s house on St. Thomas is now repaired, and he and his wife are able to live there again. Photo courtesy of George SebastianThe Episcopal Diocese of the Virgin Islands consists of 14 congregations across five islands, some governed by the United States, some by Great Britain. The U.S. islands with Episcopal churches include St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John. The British islands have Anglican churches on Virgin Gorda and Tortola.As the only full-time person on staff, diocesan Bishop Ambrose Gumbs leads four services in three locations every Sunday. When Curry asked how he was doing, Gumbs replied, “Surviving. Sometimes you wish you could go away and when you come back, it’s like it was before.”Several older people have died since the hurricane, Gumbs said. “A lot of people are stressed. A lot of them don’t have insurance. There’s still chaos, and labor costs are through the roof.”Curry and his contingent met with U.S. Virgin Islands Lt. Gov. Osbert Potter, who said it will take a long time to recover.“Our next fight is to get power lines underground,” Potter said.Left to right: Bishop Todd Ousley of the Episcopal Church Office of Pastoral Development, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, U.S. Virgin Islands Lt. Gov. Osbert Potter and Virgin Islands Bishop Ambrose Gumbs discuss hurricane recovery and the church’s role in helping the community at a Jan. 10 meeting at the Government House on St. Thomas. Photo: Amy Sowder/Episcopal News ServiceThe exodus of more than 4,000 people has caused all sorts of problems. Police officers and teachers are gone. Hotel employees have also left or are unemployed, as many hotels might not reopen until summer, Potter said. The U.S. territories lost four schools, so families either have moved to the mainland or have sent their kids to live with mainland family members.Episcopal Relief & Development’s efforts“If we did not know about Episcopal Relief & Development before, we certainly do now,” said Rosalie Simmonds Ballentine, diocesan chancellor and lay representative to the Anglican Consultative Council.“They really stepped up to the plate and helped us,” said Simmonds Ballentine, who also serves on the organization’s board of directors.Workers from Episcopal Relief & Development have inspected all the diocesan churches and other properties on all five islands, said Jay Rollins, the organization’s disaster relief consultant who lives in St. Croix.The organization assessed what volunteer teams can do immediately, in the mid-term and then long-term, Rollins said. He helped create a diocesan disaster response committee that includes a representative from each island, plus a youth representative.“We’re looking at not only recovery, but disaster preparedness. Not just for hurricanes,” Rollins said.Rob Radtke, president of Episcopal Relief & Development, joined Curry’s pastoral tour to learn how diocesan members are handling their long-term recovery efforts.“I think in times of trouble, everyone comes together,” Radtke said.Churches of the Virgin IslandsDonnalie Cabey bounced and squealed with delight as she stood at the back of the nave of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church on St. Thomas. “We just got power this afternoon. The presiding bishop brought the power,” said Cabey, wife of the Rev. Lenroy K. Cabey, rector.The water was about 2½ feet high inside the church, so the carpet had to be pulled out, and there was no electricity for four months. The first few weeks after Hurricane Irma, Episcopalians met in the dark in the parish hall, using flashlights. Then, a generator powered services.On Jan. 10, representatives from the diocese’s three deaneries reported on the state of their buildings and membership.“We call them ‘Irmaria,’” said deputy dean Leroy Claxton about September’s one-two punch of Irma and Maria.Representatives from the Diocese of the Virgin Islands three deaneries gave hurricane-damage reports to Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and his contingent Jan. 10, at St. Andrews on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Photo: Amy Sowder/Episcopal News ServiceEpiscopalians described Tortola as a bomb site after Irma. At St. Mary’s in Virgin Gorda, besides the roof damage, pavilion destruction and rectory flooding, the bell tower fell directly onto graves, cracking headstones.“We need help. I’m not going to paint a rosy picture here,” said Denise Reovan, St. Mary’s dean.St. Croix residents cleared out stores to help St. Thomas after Hurricane Irma, but then Maria came and hit St. Croix barely two weeks later when its supplies were depleted.At St. Andrew’s, membership dropped from more than 300 to about 50, said Hilarie Baker, senior warden. Twenty-five members had homes billed as total losses.“Many relocated because of illness, job loss or their kids’ school closed. We’re hopeful many members will return,” Baker said.Presiding Bishop Michael Curry offers encouragement and spiritual direction while also listening to the grief, pain and hopes of clergy from across the Diocese of the Virgin Islands at a meeting Jan. 11 at the diocesan office on St. Thomas. Photo: Amy Sowder/Episcopal News ServiceThe next morning on Jan. 11, clergy from across the islands met at the diocesan office to share their pain, concerns and hopes with Curry.“There may be no more difficult calling, in good times and in bad,” Curry told about 15 clergy members. “This is going to be long-term work, not quick fixes, and we’re committed to doing that.”Reduced Episcopal schoolsSchool enrollment is down all over the islands. Public school children are doubled up at the school buildings not destroyed, some attending morning session while others attend in the afternoon.“Nothing is the same at school. Nothing is the same at home. It’s a challenge,” Gumbs said.All Saints Cathedral School children ages 3 to 18 enjoyed a message by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry on Jan. 12. He told light-hearted anecdotes to remind the students that they have God’s strength with them at all times. Photo: Amy Sowder/Episcopal News ServiceAlthough classes have been in progress full-time since Oct. 2, excluding holiday breaks, there’s been a lot of damage at St. George’s Secondary School, which is part of St. George’s Anglican Church on Tortola, a British island, said principal Antoinette Rock. Enrollment dropped from 111 to 72 students after the hurricanes. That means less tuition money to pay teacher salaries and expenses.“We did come together to clear the debris and have the trees removed, and without funding,” Rock said. “But I’ve reached a point where I’m becoming very frustrated. We had two hurricanes in September, and here it is January, and there have been no repairs to the school.”At all Saints Cathedral School on St. Thomas, enrollment for students ages 3 to 18 dropped from 240 to 214 students after Irma, said school board chairwoman Lynette Petty-Amey.Classes were going ahead at full-speed, however. Krishiv Amarnani, 10, stepped away from his class to share that half of his family’s Sugar Mill condominium roof blew off.“A lot of my sports equipment is gone, but I did salvage my soccer and spelling bee trophies,” Amarnani said.School officials created a hurricane recovery donation page on the school’s website to fund roof repairs and purchase ceiling tiles, window screens, books and teacher supplies, said Ardrina Elliott, the school’s development director.“We stay positive for the kids, because it’s so easy to stay depressed. A lot of stores have closed. People lost jobs, there’s not a fully working hospital, there are damaged post offices. It takes three weeks to get mail.”These Virgin Islanders urge the rest of the world to remember them as they rebuild their lives.The Rev. Sandra Walters Malone, vicar of St. Paul’s Mission on Tortola, has a severely damaged home and congregation members who are homeless, some living in cars and receiving food weekly.“After the immediacy of disaster, people go on with their lives, and they forget that we’re still in chaos,” Malone said. “Sometimes it helps just to know others are thinking of you.”— Amy Sowder is a special correspondent for the Episcopal News Service and a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn. She can be reached at [email protected] Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Associate Rector Columbus, GA Rector Martinsville, VA Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s visit encourages hurricane-weary Virgin Islanders ‘You are not alone,’ Curry told residents dealing with long-term stress and recovery Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Rector Albany, NY Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Rector Tampa, FL Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Rector Pittsburgh, PA Rector Shreveport, LA Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Featured Events Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Director of Music Morristown, NJlast_img read more

Notre Dame News: Things to know

first_imgBiden, Boehner receive prestigious Laetare Medal amid outcry The Laetare Medal is considered one of the most prestigious awards for American Catholics. The 2016 medal was jointly awarded to Vice President Joe Biden and former Speaker of the House John Boehner, a gesture by University President Fr. John Jenkins to encourage bipartisan dialogue. The award sparked an outcry among students, alumni and conservative groups, who criticized the decision to award the pro-choice Vice President and the pro-death-penalty Speaker. Both politicians attended the 2016 commencement ceremony and received the medal. Obama speaks to 2009 graduates, 2016 election winner will be invited to 2017 commencement The University invites each newly-elected President of the United States to give the Commencement address the spring after inauguration. In 2009, President Barack Obama accepted the invitation, instigating a nationwide wave of criticism of the decision to invite a politician who was pro-choice and supported stem-cell research. Obama spoke at commencement and addressed the criticisms directly, encouraging people to find commonalities amid moral disagreements. As the 2016 election approaches, the University is again expected to invite whomever is elected. University in national spotlight over sexual assault cases In 2015, CNN released a documentary, “The Hunting Ground,” which examined how colleges and universities mishandle sexual assault cases. Featuring Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame, the documentary highlighted multiple cases where the University and the College failed to respond to reports by Saint Mary’s students who accused Notre Dame students of sexual assault. The documentary inspired activism by students, faculty and alumni to urge the College and the University to change their practices regarding sexual assault. University involved in legal battles In 2012, the University sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, seeking an exemption from the Obamacare requirement that employers provide contraceptive access. The suit and its appeals were ultimately unsuccessful. In 2015, ESPN sued the University for access to police records on student athletes accused of crimes. An appellate court sided with ESPN, saying NDSP was a public agency subject to open records laws, but it is unclear which records the network will get and when. As a result of the suit, a bill was introduced in the Indiana state legislature intended to clarify open records laws, but was vetoed by Gov. Mike Pence. First official LGBT student organization formed2013 saw the first meetings of PrismND, Notre Dame’s first official organization for LGBT students. Students had been attempting to start such an organization for decades, and after a months-long review of resources for the LGBT community at Notre Dame, resulting in a pastoral plan, PrismND was approved. Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, who built ND for 50 years, dies in 2015 During Hesburgh’s 30-year presidency, women were admitted to the University and laypeople to the board of trustees, and Notre Dame’s national profile rose. The Holy Cross priest, who was photographed arm-in-arm with Martin Luther King, Jr. and said a Mass in the then-Soviet Union, was a campus institution — students considered it an honor to visit his office on the 14th floor of the library named after him. When he died at 97, U.S. presidents and Nobel Prize winners offered condolences. He left a legacy of civil rights activism and academic freedom in Catholic education, as well as a premier Catholic research university.  Football team goes to 2013 national championship  After years of mediocre football at Notre Dame Stadium, the storyline changed dramatically in 2012, when the Irish posted a perfect regular season en route to a BCS National Championship Game loss to Alabama. A lights-out defense, led by Heisman Trophy runner-up linebacker Manti Te’o, propelled the Irish to the title game, but Notre Dame failed to mount a challenge in South Florida, falling 42-14 to the Crimson Tide on the season’s biggest stage. University starts new construction projectsThe past several years saw much construction and renovation. Campus Crossroads, a $400-million project that added academic departments and student spaces to the football stadium, began in 2014 and is scheduled to be completed in 2017. In 2015, Hesburgh Library began a renovation which gave several floors a more open plan. Two new dorm buildings, Flaherty and Dunne Halls, were built, as was McCourtney Hall, a research building. Jenkins Hall, which will house the Keough School of Global Affairs, is slated to open in Fall 2017.  New college created for the first time in decadesIn 2014, the University announced the creation of the Keough School of Global Affairs, which will offer academic programs for undergraduate and graduate students, work with Notre Dame’s centers abroad and other internationally-focused institutes and offer a new Masters in Global Affairs. Changes proposed for Notre Dame Core Curriculum Every 10 years, the University reviews its Core Curriculum, the set of courses that every student must take. The process began in 2014, briefly sparking fears that the University theology requirement would be reduced or eliminated. A Core Curriculum committee solicited ideas and feedback from the Notre Dame community and in November 2015 released its recommendations, proposing a revision that would reduce the total number of core courses and require students to take classes in broader categories such as “quantitative analysis” and “aesthetic analysis,” as opposed to math or fine arts. A final report will be presented to University administration this semester. University decides to admit undocumented students In 2013, the University admitted and gave financial aid to undocumented students for the first time, following an admissions policy revision that considered undocumented applicants domestic, not international, students. The University was following guidelines from the Obama administration, which as an executive order had given undocumented people under a certain age the opportunity to defer deportation, opening up the possibility of higher education for many. PE course replaced with Moreau First-Year Experience For decades, Notre Dame required its freshmen to pass a swim test or take swimming lessons, as well as complete a physical education course. For the incoming class of 2019 those requirements were eliminated to some controversy. The replacement was the Moreau First-Year Experience, a one-credit class that addressed aspects of wellness, cultural competence and student life. Tags: Construction, Core Curriculum, football, Fr. Ted, Freshman Orientation 2016, Hesburgh, Keough school, Laetare Medal, lawsuit, Moreau First Year Experience, news, Obama, PrismND, sexual assault, Things to know, undocumented studentslast_img read more