Hurricanes Irma and Maria have challenged not only the resources, but also the hopes of Academia María Reina (AMR) in San Juan, Puerto Rico – one of the six schools sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood, L.I. (CSJ). AMR is facing limited communication, no electricity, as well as some damage to the building itself.
The Tablet’s exclusive coverage on the devastation in Puerto Rico can be found here.
Part of the athletic complex at Immaculate Conception Pastoral Center, Douglaston, has turned into a storage area for the past few weeks, as Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens stockpiles needed supplies that will be shipped to assist hurricane victims in Puerto Rico.
While Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio celebrated Mass Oct. 20 for those on the island of Puerto Rico who had been affected by Hurricane Maria, he explained that the prayers were also being offered for the other Caribbean islands, Mexico and parts of the United States that have suffered because of recent storms.
We landed in San Juan exactly at noon on Thursday, Oct. 19. It was one of those flights that could turn you into a praying man – just a long period of turbulence from Queens to Old San Juan. As the plane approached the airport two details stand out – the grayness of the trees and the colors on the roofs. Hurricane Maria had taken away the leaves and the roofs. Naked trees and roofless houses now covered with plastic tarps were the new face of San Juan from the unquiet comfort of my seat on the plane.
Jorge Dominiguez, the editor of Nuestra Voz, the diocesan Spanish monthly, is currently in Puerto Rico where he is getting a firsthand look at the destruction wrought by Hurricane Maria. His reports will be broadcast on NET-TV and will be printed in The Tablet next week.
Looking to help in light of the recent natural disasters? We’ve got a couple of volunteer experiences that need your hands and bodies.
Our Lady of Refuge, Flatbush, is hoping to be a light in the midst of darkness as it collects candles to send to devastated areas of Puerto Rico.