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The Galveston Holdouts

“Ike” in Cuba

“Ike” in USS


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From: James Pawlicki
Sent: Saturday, September 13, 2008 5:04 AM

“Ike” in USS

Confreres:

urricane Ike is now ready to come on shore over Galveston Island. Our men are accounted for except for two.

Two of our confreres on Galveston have refused to evacuate. I don’t know why for they have not communicated to me at all. Perhaps they have a good reason but no one knows what that is.

Say a prayer for Benny Wego and Gerry Lewis. Paul Kahan did speak to Benny and begged him to leave but as I said they decided to stay.

Brendan Murphy evacuated and is safe.

Eric Groner is ready in Cleveland. His place will become a place of refuge for people in the town and also a staging area for recovery efforts.

Anil Thomas and Lou Jessing are in Liberty and also providing help to people. They will no doubt feel the worst of the winds. Hopefully they will fare well.

Cliff Labbe is watching out for others and has offered his place as refuge.

Aubi, Pius and Tang Nguyen are in Houston and should be okay but they will certainly lose power. We hope that is all that will happen to them.

Paul and Jerome are welcoming the Houston people to Dallas.

Hopefully we will hear something tomorrow.

I beg anyone with news tomorrow of Benny and Gerry to please let me know so I can tell everyone what is going on.

I am past angry with them at this time. I just pray all will be well for them. Please join me in those prayers.

Also remember the people in Louisiana who are being hit hard with this storm.

Finally let’s pray this is the end of hurricanes. It is time to put aside these anxieties. Too many people are feeling frightened and lost.

jim pawlicki, svd


“Ike” in Cuba

nas impresiones que acabo de remitir a Sergio, Carlos. Que sirva, en parte, para describir lo de alrededor en estos días.

Luego de las visitas de los dos últimos cíclones, Gustav e Ike, unos comentarios, Sergio. Anoche pude conversar con Juanito, y el cuadro que describe es lamentable. Todo indica que la parte Oriental sufrió la mayor destrucción. Por acá, la Isla de la Juventud, en parte, y - una vez más - Pinar del Río, fueron golpeados, pero con menor violencia. La potencia de los vientos había mermado parcialmente al llegar al Occidente.

En el Oriente la gente hace comparación con lo que fue Flora. Eso te dará una idea de la seriedad de la situación.

La zona de Mayarí y alrededores sufrió grandemente. Una visita que hizo Juanito a Guatemala le dejó descorazonado; muchísimo daño a viviendas, y gente refugiándose donde puedan. Similares escenas encuentran los nuestros alrededor de Sagua, Moa, etc..

Entramos ya ahora, al menos aquí en La Víbora, en la fase de recuperación. Hoy el tiempo amanece calmado. ¡A Dios gracias! Han sido días de mucha preocupación entre la población.

De los nuestros, la casa de las SSpS en Nicaro sufrió la pérdida de una parte del techo; lo de la entrada, y la capillita de la casa. Tuvieron que albergarse, unas horas, en la casa de Aldana. Ya están de regreso a su vivienda, pero aún, ayer, sin corriente eléctrica.

Granma, y la zona de Yara en particular, sufrió inundaciones serias.

Juanito hablaba de cómo ir respondiendo. Y me preguntó si nos habíamos comunicado contigo, Sergio. Eso, en el sentido de querer ver modos y maneras de responder a las situaciones. Uno tiene que admitir, frente a tanta necesidad y tantas urgencias y pedidos, que quedamos como con cinco panes y dos pescados, no más. La solución global nos supera en mucho.

Además, aunque es triste decirlo, se juega, es evidente, políticamente con la situación de la población. Un debate se está haciendo sobre la cuestión de aceptar, o no, ayudas internacionales, en particular desde los EE. UU. Es probable que hasta la misma colaboración de la Iglesia será, en cierto sentido, asesorada y/o controlada. Mientras tanto, la población sufre. Y - unos pocos - se quejan.

Traté de comunicarme esta mañana con Martín, pero el teléfono no da. Puede que sea por falta de corriente.

Bueno, Sergio, hasta aquí me reportaje de las cosas. Servirá como para completar lo que leas por la prensa.

Has de incluir en tu recuerdo y oración la suerte nada fácil de este sufrido pueblo.

Un abrazo,
Tomás, y del compañero Olivier...


Lambertus Benignus Benny Wego
and Gerald Lewis

Confreres:

fter I last wrote you a few hours ago a number of people and organizations were contacted to bring our men off the island of Galveston.

We contacted politicians etc. The best was the work of Gus Wall in contacting the Red Cross and people with authority in that organization. Gus must have great contacts for just a few minutes ago we heard back from the Red Cross on Galveston Island.

The story is not good.

The Red Cross states that a boat did go by the rectory this morning and found our two men. Our men (Lambertus Benignus Benny Wego and Gerald Lewis) REFUSED to leave and be evacuated.

After Gus called this evening the Red Cross went out again. Once more our men refused to leave.

What more can we do? If you have an answer let me know. I asked that messages be delivered to them ordering them under the vow of obedience to leave. I don’t know if that will work. No one is allowed on the island so I just go drive up there.

So lets pray guys. The island of Galveston is totally devastated. There is nothing to be done there by our men. Why they are staying is a mystery. I pray their judgment has not been impaired.

jim pawlicki, svd


All Are Safe

r. Brendan Murphy left Galveston before hurricane Ike and is in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He does not have access to e-mail where he is. He can be contacted on his cell phone at 409-370-8844.

Fr. Gerald Lewis left Galveston Tuesday, 09/16 around 1:00 PM and went to St. Mary of the Purification in Houston.

Fr. Beni Wego is still in Galveston as of 09/16 and is planning on leaving in a day or two.

The church had about 8 feet of water and the rectory had about 3 feet because it is on higher ground.

Be safe and God bless!