Missions: Helping the poorest of the poor rebuild

October 23, 2018

Hurricane Harvey hit Southeast Texas a year ago, breaking all-time U.S. rain records and damaging 135,000 homes in the Houston area. Following the flooding associated with the hurricane, many parishes in the Archdiocese organized teams that “mucked out” homes.

The Archdiocesan Mission Council, which is charged with promoting Mission in the Archdiocese, is now inviting parishes to form mission teams to help the poorest of the poor rebuild, a task that is likely to take several years.

Typically, home repair mission teams need help with three things; identifying and vetting projects, finding a place to stay, and financial assistance to buy building materials. Working with Catholic Charities, the Archdiocese and Most Holy Trinity Parish in Angleton, the Mission Council is now able to assist mission groups in finding that help.

Catholic Charities identified Holiday Lakes, a rural immigrant community in Brazoria County, as a priority area. The Mission Council is also working with a United Way agency called The Alliance to help identify and vet projects in a nearby Cambodian village east of Rosharon. Work can be matched to the interests and skill level of the group, including clean-up, demolition, insulating, drywall, carpentry, painting, flooring and roofing.

Some mission groups have the financial resources to buy materials, and some do not. If needed, Catholic Charities will assist mission groups with buying materials for projects approved in advance. The mission groups simply prepare a list of needed materials, which Catholic Charities will then purchase for delivery to the work site.

Several parishes have already answered the call or are making plans for this fall, including St. John Vianney, St. Martha’s and St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Any parish or group interested in this opportunity to serve the poorest of the poor in mission, should contact either Hilda Ochoa, director of the Archdiocesan Mission Office at hochoa@archgh.org, or Richard Horstman, chair of the Archdiocesan Mission Council at rhorst6970@aol.com.

Richard Horstman is the chair of the Mission Council.