In this issue of The Catholic Leader we had planned to share with you a story about a very successful Catholic Vision for Leading Like Jesus (CVLLJ) service/leadership camp for high school students sponsored this summer by Catholic Charities in Houston.

Actually, is the second year that Catholic Charities has sponsored the camp, which was the brainchild of Matt Johns, a member of the CCH team and a CVLLJ Facilitator.

In mid-August Matt reached out to tell us that at this year’s camp “the kids had a great time, and we were able to try a few different things this year to learn more about what works.”

He added: “I’m currently working on a write-up. I am including both years and some quotes from the kids. I plan to get that to you within one week from today. “

Unfortunately, Hurricane Harvey had other plans.

Other plans

On Aug. 25 the hurricane was accorded Category 4 status before it reached landfall in Rockport, TX, just south of Houston.

After first battering the gulf shores of Texas, the storm stalled over the area and battered it with torrential rains. Before the rain abated, Harvey had become the worst natural disaster in the state’s history.

We texted Matt to make sure he and his family were okay. His response was reassuring: “All are fine right now,” he replied.

We haven’t bothered him since because we know he and his colleagues at Catholic Charities are swamped providing emergency aid.

Emergency response

We did send a personal donation to Houston Catholic Charities soon after, and were blessed to receive a brief video on the agency’s emergency provisions narrated by Cynthia Colbert, President and CEO of the organization and also a CVLLJ Facilitator. (Click here to see the 5 minute video.)

If we had any doubts that Cynthia, Matt and their fellow Charities’ team members were swamped trying to be of service to those displaced by the flood (we really didn’t), her short video makes it clear that the agency is itself literally swamped with needy folks – but it has opened its doors wide to be of service.

We also are pretty sure it’s going to be a while longer before we get Matt’s report about Charities’ service/leadership camp.

We’re eager to see it and to share it with you, but the delay is as it should be. First things first.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a way to help the people along the Texas gulf shore recover from the ravages of Harvey, you can donate to Houston Catholic Charities here.

We hope and pray that you do.


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