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Walpole Church Sends Adults and Teens to Help Adopted Community of Pass Christian, Mississippi; Church to Celebrate Bond Between Parishioners With Creole Food Festival on July 15

From News Release    Filed 6/24/06 GCN

On Wednesday, June 21, 2006, parishioners of Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church of Walpole, Massachusetts, sent a delegation of five adults and six teens to help with the continuing clean up efforts brought on by Hurricane Katrina in their adopted community of Pass Christian.  Pass Christian, a small town on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, was ground zero for the eye of the hurricane.  Under the leadership of its pastor, Fr. Tim Kelleher, Blessed Sacrament agreed last fall to adopt the Catholic Community of St. Paul’s Church to assist the people of Pass Christian rebuild their church, rectory and school which were destroyed by the hurricane.

To date, the parishioners of Blessed Sacrament, their friends and families, have contributed in excess of $50,000 to aid St. Paul’s efforts to resurrect their church.  According to Terry Witherell, Coordinator of Youth Ministry at Blessed Sacrament, the service trip, which will last a week, “was a natural outgrowth of our pledge last year to help St. Paul’s with prayer, funds, and fellowship.  In addition to raising money, it was important that members of our own community volunteer their time to participate directly in the rebuilding process.”  The delegation is being led by Bill Willoth, a member of the parish.   Willoth reports that nine months after the hurricane, Pass Christian is still removing debris and has welcomed our help.  “Although our contribution will be small, it will serve as a reminder to the people of Pass Christian that they have not been forgotten, and the experience will immeasurably add to our parish’s understanding of their suffering and needs.”

On Saturday, July 15, 2006, Blessed Sacrament will welcome Father Dennis Carver, Pastor of St. Paul’s Church for a Fellowship Feast – Pass Christian style.  Accompanying Father Carver will be Diane and Jim Bradley, chief cooks for Pass Christian’s annual Seafood Festival, who will treat the parishioners of Blessed Sacrament with a menu of jambalaya, gumbo, greens and French bread.  New Orleans style jazz will be provided by Massachusetts’s Blue Horizon Jazz Band.  At the Feast, Father Carver will report on progress of his community’s rebuilding efforts and the Blessed Sacrament delegation will report on their trip.  According to Father Kelleher, “this is a wonderful opportunity to join hands, break bread, and thank God for the blessings he has bestowed on both of our faith communities.”

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