Tuesday, September 12, 2017
This is a preliminary report on the effects of Hurricane Irma on the Catholic Diocese of the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is based on email and phone messages from Rev. Msgr. Jerome Feudjio, Vicar General for the Catholic Diocese of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The report covers St. Thomas and St. John. St. Croix was not affected as much by the hurricane but did have problems. The Diocesan phone line may not be available. Msgr. Jerome can be reached by phone at 340-642-1812.
After 2 days of the devastating hurricane, we are doing well under the circumstances. Bishop Herbert Bevard and the priests of the Diocese are OK. The top floor of the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral Rectory was blown away. The Cathedral appears to be spared however the Church stained glass windows are shattered. The Cupola Cross on the Cathedral was also blown away by the force of the wind. At Sts. Peter and Paul school, the school library back wall collapsed, and the cafeteria kitchen and ceiling were damaged and pieces of galvanized sheets were blown away.
The convent near the Cathedral appears to be alright except a section of the broken roof of the Cathedral rectory rests on the convent’s roof. A hotel near the Cathedral burned to the ground and the fire did not reach the Cathedral.
The Saint Anne Chapel main door was blown off and sacristy roof blown away. Holy Family Church had water damage while Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church also had water damage and broken doors and windows.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church on St. John had water damage and broken doors and debris from the fallen trees.
Relief efforts are now underway. Archbishop Gonzalez visited us from San Juan and we have received some emergency items from the Archdiocese of San Juan and channeled these to our local Catholic Charities Office for distribution.
Thank God for life!