- Jan 28, 2020
What has been dubbed by many as America’s paradise is not just home to plutocrats, but there’s a surprising degree of poverty and, as ever, the Catholic Church long has been on the front lines of responding to it.
Nearly 100 years ago a nun in Key West promised that as long as a grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes that she commissioned stands, the island would be protected from hurricanes, and today, that assurance still holds true.
Father John Baker projects a steady calm – neither overly romantic about the beauty and beguiling culture of Key West, nor cowed by the uphill climb it can sometimes pose for the life of faith.
The physical impact of Hurricane Michael and the anticipated recovery period for parts of the Florida Panhandle appear to be on a scale of last year’s Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, according to the Church’s top emergency management specialist in Florida.
A combination of heavy bureaucracy, sometimes sluggish supply chains and a shortage of contractors have slowed recovery efforts after Hurricanes Irma and Maria smashed through the Virgin Islands one year ago.
St. Francis Builds, a program based in St. Camillus Catholic Church in Silver Spring, Maryland continues to help Puerto Rico which is still suffering from last summer’s hurricanes.