As oil continues to spill into the Gulf of Mexico, churches and religious organizations along the Louisiana coast are providing food, money and support to parishioners whose livelihoods hang in the balance.
Millions of gallons of oil have contaminated the gulf since an oil rig explosion on April 20, bringing the region’s fishing industry to a screeching halt. It’s been particularly hard for churches like St. Patrick Catholic Church in Port Sulphur, Louisiana, where many parishioners are fishermen.
Pastor Gerard Stapleton and his staff at St. Patrick’s have distributed food and $100 vouchers to 300 families in his congregation affected by the oil spill. “It could very easily . . . destroy our way of life, which generations have enjoyed,” Stapleton said. “This is one of the top ten areas in the United States for fishing.”