For over half a century, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Bayou du Large, has hosted an annual “Blessing of the Boats” to bid a safe season to the fishermen working in the waters off the Louisiana Gulf Coast. Just to the west in Franklin lies St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, another church with deep roots in the Louisiana fishing community. When the BP oil spill occurred in 2010, the people of the fishing industry surrounding these churches were devastated and are still struggling today with the effects the oil spill had on Louisiana. This struggle will continue without any sort of direct assistance programs in place.
This past January, both churches opened their doors to ECSLA case managers to provide assistance to the people working in the fishing industry. The major focus is to help clients gain financial literacy. Other areas of focus include helping clients find ways to supplement their income in the off-season, obtain additional schooling, or even change their industry.
ECSLA would like to thank St. Andrew’s and St. Mary’s for partnering with us to bring needed relief to the people of the Bayou Communities. Funding is provided through a grant from the Baton Rouge Area Foundation to Catholic Charities “Spirit of Hope Program.”