New Orleans, LA - Site Visit

Archdiocesan Catholic Charities Center in Metairie, Louisiana

Written by Sister Simone Campbell, SSS

June 7, 2013

We just left the Archdiocesan Catholic Charities Center in Metairie. It is in an old brick school building that they have refurbished in a wonderful way. They have light yellow walls, big windows and lots of space for their comprehensive program. The Office of Peace and Justice, along with the office for migration and refugees and Hispanic ministries are all in one of the school buildings. In the back building is the office for the Spirituality Center. Art that is both moving and symbolic of the work being done there is on the walls everywhere. Such a comprehensive program to serve the whole person!

We were told that they had recently done a health fair with the local university, which included spiritual counseling as a part of the day. This integrated service is such a tribute to the work of the staff and archdiocesan vision of the whole person.

We learned that the majority of the Hispanic immigrants come from Honduras. The refugee community was largely Vietnamese until the last ten years. Now the refugee community is composed of Iraqis, Cubans and Burmese. The Center works with victims of trafficking and other forms of violence.

We were told that the justice center before Katrina served between 2000 and 2500 people a year. Now, since Katrina they are serving almost 10,000 people. There is a huge need after all of the dislocation and influx of people to help in the rebuilding. So much work to be done to achieve justice. Now on the road to Houston—a long drive for justice! Doing missionary work to get senators’ votes for Comprehensive Immigration reform NOW.