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From: Bernard Assenyoh, SVD
Date: Sat, 3 Sep 2005 03:24:39 EDT
Subject: We are safe!

From: GHA Provincial
Sent: Sunday, September 04, 2005 3:24 PM
Subject: FW: We are safe!

Dear Friends,

lease join us in prayer solidarity with our brothers and sisters affected by hurricane Katrina in USA. Please also educate others about the suffering there.

Gabriel Kumordji


From: Alfred Ayem
Sent: Saturday, September 03, 2005 2:20 PM
Subject: FW: We are safe!

Dear Fr. Kumordji,

aybe you want to share this with our brothers bvack at home. This is the story of Bernard and Francis. We are all safe and sound physically; but emotionally, I do not know for everybody. However, we thank God we are alive. It is an experience. Tell our people we love them.

Thanks for your prayers.

Alfred


From: Bernard Assenyoh
Date: Sat, 3 Sep 2005 03:24:39 EDT
Subject: We are safe!

Dear Confreres:

For now, let me just say on behalf of brother Francis and on my own behalf, i thank you for your prayers and concern for us in the few days spent in storm and its aftermath. We do recognize God's providential presence in our miraculous rescue. Having lived through a storm this magnitude, i have lost the taste of watching it on TV. When i am alone, i play back the memories of the rising water in the rectory, Brother Francis' intensified devotional prayers before the blessed sacrament which i moved upstairs before the storm, our preparation to knock out the windows and escape to the church roof in case the water rose up to the second floor, the sound of the furious wind, the silence and calm immediately after the eye had passed, the sound of the school and my car alarms, the ordeal of living on a street taken over by thugs and drug addicts with reckless gun shots and looting, the sound of helicopters and boats rescuing people trapped, the ordeal of living two days and one night on the Interstate 610 among over 5000 people, the fatigue but relief when i was sitting in the bus that transported us out of the city, and the sorrow of the fact that i was leaving this city and will not see it again until after a year plus. My heart is broken for my parishioners, and i have lost the taste of working in another parish. It feels as though i have failed in my pastoral work in New Orleans - i was not able to say a proper "good bye" in a thanksgiving Mass scheduled for July 28th at 10:30am. These feelings are going to stay with me for a long time. But this is also an experience and will also come to pass. Most of my time now is being devoted to reaching out to my displaced parishioners in different cities, offering them words of encouragement and hope for the future rebuilding of the community. I am currently in Holy Ghost, Opelousas trying to take over - i hope i am able to do so in this time of grieving for the loss of the faith community i have served for 14 days short of 6 years. I ask for your continual prayerful support for St. Paul the Apostle church of New Orleans and indeed all the Archdiocesan churches and those of the Mississippi gulf.

Thanks again, we are safe.

Bernie.