Sacred Heart Reopens In Time For Easter

This Easter was unlike any other for members of the Sacred Heart Parish.

They were welcomed back into their place or worship for the first time since the storm.

There were no pews and the floors were bare. But their spirits and beliefs were still stronger than ever.

"We told everyone that when we came back for a while things were going to be a bit spartan. But that doesn't change what we do. What we do here is worship God," said Father Bob Higginbothan.

He says it was a long road to recovery and the church still has a lot of work ahead of them.

But, this Sunday, they are a step closer to restoration.

"As we celebrate Easter and the resurrection of Christ. It's like the rebirth of our church and resurrection of our church," said Father Higginbothan.

Christina Pelanne has been a member of Sacred Heart for as long as she can remember. Pelanne was married there in 2004.

The lack of carpet she doesn't mind. The material item she holds dear made it through the storm.

"This statue right here, I put flowers on it on the day of my wedding. It ended up on Seaman Road, that's close to Ocean Springs," said Pelanne.

Her uncle kept the statue in his home for safe-keeping. And now it stands tall, back where it belongs, in the church.

Monica Crowell is the choir director at Sacred Heart. She has been working hard along with members of the community and a few outside volunteers to make this Easter back at "home" a special one.

"It was very moving this morning. There was a lot going on behind the scenes and we are just blessed to be back," said Crowell.

Besides the church, there is a school, a parish hall, a gymnasium and a rectory.

All of the buildings received 8 to 10 feet of water inside.

Community members are in the process of trying to restore those buildings.