Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Catholics Doing Unseen Work On Despair In Lake Providence Louisiana ( Catholic Extension and Diocese of Shreveport )

Catholic Extension profiles the Catholic presence in  town that is not only the poorest in the Diocese of Shreveport perhaps but maybe the entire State. That is Lake Providence Louisiana. I say the work is unseen because to even go through the town you really really have to make an effort. Unless you heading North to go the "big city" of Greenville Mississipi or to perhaps catch some road to Little Rock it's a tad off the beaten track

It was not always so.

I have a strong place in my heart for Lake Providence since so much of my family used to be from there. The last family members got the heck out ,and moved tway down South to New Orleans just a few years ago. Though my Aunt still returns to run part of business and take care of her parents.

This town is a shell of what it once was. My grandfather used to recall the antics of Gov Earl Long when he was there for the Miss  Miss Louisiana Beauty Pageant .  YES THAT WAS THERE .I can recall a thriving Bank and lots of activities. Then the Farm bust happened in the 80's and the town never truly recovered.

The political, social, economic ,and racial related problems were always there ,and the bust did not help matters.

That is not too say there are not good people in Lake Providence, and East Carroll Parish that are right to be proud of various aspects of their home. But make no mistake that in my relative short life time the glimpses of the town I saw in my youth are almost like a dream looking back. Its basically farming jobs or working in nearby Prison that is all that is available.

But the Catholic Church has a important mission there. Catholic Extension profiles  Sister Bernie who has been in Lake Providence for 10 years. I actually got to meet one of her order years before that who was doing similar work in the town.

It's a good article  , and I hope perhaps it might send some bucks Catholic Extension's way and also highlight what our Diocese is helping to do for a largely non Catholic population in a very tough spot.

Still there is hope , and perhaps with God's Grace the Catholic Diocese of Shreveport, Catholic Extension, Father Watson, St Patrick's Parish , and last but not least Sister Bernie can play a role in turning it around.

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