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Catholic Charities USA has helped over 1,500 fishermen hit by oil spill in 5 relief centers providing food and food vouchers, baby items, counseling, and more. Credits: Catholic Charities USA

Catholic Charities USA has helped over 1,500 fishermen hit by oil spill in 5 relief centers providing food and food vouchers, baby items, counseling, and more.
Credits: Catholic Charities USA

By Kathy Brown, CCUSA

American Caritas member Catholic Charities agencies in Louisiana continue to reach out to those impacted by the environmental disaster still unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico.

In New Orleans, Catholic Charities has helped over 1,500 fishermen hit by oil spill in 5 relief centers providing food and food vouchers, baby items, counseling, and more. 6227 people (1883 families) have received emergency assistance from Catholic Charities in New Orleans alone.

Other diocesan charities agencies are also reaching out all along the Gulf Coast. The oil spill is having a disastrous consequence on the livelihoods of fishermen and their families and also on tourism, a major industry on the Gulf Coast.

Quoting from the Bayou Catholic, the diocesan paper of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux (May 13, 2010, Vol. 30, No 23, Houma, LA):

[Rob] Gorman (Executive Director of Catholic Charities in Houma-Thibodaux) expressed the hope that, like the miracle of the loaves and fishes, people will share what they have and that somehow there will be enough to sustain everyone. This disaster,” says Gorman, “challenges us to be one church, one family during a crisis that we will face for a very long time.”

Kathy Brown is the Regional Coordinator for caritas North America