Mass at Our Lady of the Sea Church in Grand Isle was different Sunday, to say the least. Not only were there the usual parishioners and vacationers in attendance during Memorial Day weekend, there were film crews from Fox News and CNN filming and taping what was going on.
The reason, of course, was the oil spill nearby that has caused so much interest and consternation nationwide. It is without question the most attention our island paradise has ever gotten from the national media.
After the opening Pledge of Allegiance led by Boy Scouts of Grand Isle, Father Mike Tran started the service with his usual enthusiasm in giving his parishioners the opportunity to renew their vows and obedience to God’s rules in his weekly ritual. And as he proceeded, the TV cameras recorded it all.
His homily was exceptional, tieing in the oil tragedy with the Holy Trinity’s insistence that we have patience and perserverance through tragic circumstances and have faith that, if we do what God requests, the world will be a great place to live.
The TV cameras took distant and close-up shots of people in the church listening and praying. And after mass, they answered many questions put to them as to the effect the tragedy had on Grand Isle.
This past week was very different at Grand Isle. Many people were there as usual on Memorial Day weekend but they were not fishing or combing the beach which was closed through Sunday. Most of them were there to manage the crisis, clean the beaches or do other sundry jobs to help make the island normal again.
We were hoping the story of the dreadful oil spill effects would end this past week. But now it appears it will linger.
The process may be long and tortuous to many, especially to those who make their livings in our commercial and sport fishing empire. But we feel confident it will terminate within a few weeks, hopefully, or at least a few months.
And though we must put pressure on authorities to create safeguards against it ever happening again, we must follow the direction of Father Mike’s sermon that we live with it in patience with resolve to live a good life – – and try to prevent this ever happening again.
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