Some Hancock County residents turn to prayer - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Some Hancock County residents turn to prayer

By Al Showers – bio | email

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - Some people in Hancock County are looking to a higher power to solve the oil crisis. Members of St. Clare Catholic Church prayed that the oil leak would be stopped and the spill doesn't reach the shores of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Members of St. Clare have good reason to ask God to hear their prayers. The church is located on the beach front in Waveland and the last thing they want to see is an oily mess in front of the church.

Church Member Ursula Penton said, "I don't want to see it anywhere. It impacts everything, our food, our economy and the tourists. I mean we're just now getting a beach where it's presentable for people to come and enjoy.'

Father Cuthbert O'Connell said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid."

Father O'Connell told his congregation no matter what happens God will be with them.

Father O'Connell said, "The question in most hearts of people is why God is doing this to us. God's name is not on the oil rig in Louisiana.  Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid and we in our own experience know that too well. We understand the pain the suffering and concerns of people that are visited by traumatic events."

Hurricane Katrina destroyed St. Clare's sanctuary. However a new church building is now under construction on the property.

Ursula Penton said, "And as far as our church is concerned we're tough and whatever comes along we'll handle it. We've handled in a Quonset hut for five years, we'll handle whatever comes along as far as our church is concerned."

Church Member Tommy Kidd said, "We're praying desperately that we don't have a problem with this in our estuaries, our rivers and our bayous. We know as long as it's on the sand we can clean it up but the problem that we're more concerned about is where the little shrimp, where the crabs and where the fish all begin life and once you get it in the marshy area you have a real problem."

Father O'Connell said, "Our brothers and sisters in South Louisiana working to contain the oil spill from reaching the Gulf land we pray. Lord hear our prayer.'

Many of the church members are not just using their hands to pray, they are also picking up trash along the beach that could become contaminated by the oil slick.

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