Sunday, September 24, 2017, 12 PM AST( Updated)
This is a preliminary report on the effects of Hurricane Maria on the Catholic Diocese of the U.S. Virgin Islands on St. Croix. It is based on phone messages from Rev. Fr. Louis Kemayou, Pastor of St. Joachim and Ann Catholic Church on St. Croix, and others. The report only covers the St. Croix part of the Diocese. Communications with St.Croix are very poor at this time. There is also a curfew in effect which prevented more detailed observations of the island by those on the island.
All of the priests of the Diocese on St. Croix are OK. Thank God for life! Part of the roof of the rectory at St. Joachim and Ann's Parish came off and a large part of the upper floor was devastated. The roof completely come off the Parish offices. The Parish Church still stands but there are missing or broken doors or windows. The old Chapel has a hole in the roof due to some wind blown projectile hitting it. Part of the rectory at St. Patrick's Church is gone. Holy Cross Church appeared to be alright but some of the damages to the Church and other buildings in the area may not have been observed. The roofs of St. Joseph Church, Rectory and St. Joseph High School buildings appear to be OK. There may have some damage to the part of the roof over the Rectory Chapel. There is damage to the parish trailer buildings and there is a problem with the electical system at the school. Numerous branches and fallen trees and electrical poles and wires are down on the Parish grounds and the school campus. The parish and school buildings have separate generators and the parish electrical system and generator are working . However, the availabilty of fuel will determine how long the generators will continue to run. It is much different from the damage caused by Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and destroyed most of the school buildings. Hopefully both the parish and school will be able to resume operation quickly. There is much repair and maintence that needs to be done.
The main convent building of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (ICM Sisters) was completely destroyed. Much of the roof came off and caused much damage to the second convent. The Sisters are OK and finding shelter in several of the rooms.
Please continue to remember us and all of the people of the Virgins Islands and the other islands in your prayers. Prayer works, that's for sure!
See also the Preliminary Report on the Effects of Hurricane Irma of St. Thomas and St. John through the link below.
Preliminary Report on the Effects of Hurricane Irma on the Catholic Diocese of the U.S. Virgin Islands on St.Thomas (9/12/17)