Katrina Study Guide Now Available to Mission Groups
(posted September 15, 2006)

Since February 2006, the Vision Integration Convening Circle has worked on developing a tool that would assist the Congregation in seeing the integration of the Adrian Dominican Sisters' Vision through the lens of Hurricane Katrina.The Katrina Study Guide has been developed for Sisters and Associates to explore the root causes of the tragedy in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, and to make connections in one's own geographic area.

Based on the Pastoral Cycle created by Peter Henriot, SJ, the Katrina Study Guide leads us from attentiveness, to analysis, to theological reflection and finally, to action. We encourage the use of the study guide in whatever way individuals would like to implement it. It can be found on the Adrian Dominican Sisters web site under “Our Mission and Vision."

Here is just one vignette by Maureen Fenlon, OP:

“Whatever happened to all those New Orleans jail inmates we saw on TV who were sitting on a freeway overpass for days in the hot sun? They eventually ended up at prisons and jails across the state. A large number, both men and women, ended up at the main state prison, Angola. Shortly after their arrival we went to Angola for our usual monthly visit with the men we have befriended. Then we heard the rest of the story: of overcrowded conditions, inmates sleeping on mats in a gym, women crowded into dorms displacing the men, and the quality and quantity of the meals severely worsened.

Furthermore, given the overcrowded conditions and, with women being held at Angola for the first time, security measures tightened, thus diminishing the ability for the inmates to move about in the normal confines of the prison. However, more troubling than these “inconveniences” is that many of these people were recent detainees from small jails, and had not yet been charged with a crime nor had a court hearing. They were invisible. Having had no contact with the outside world, their family and friends had no idea where they were or if they were among the missing.