Slumdog Billionaires

       The Catholic Church is a mystery to me. 
     They do good works, assist the down-trodden, teach the ‘good word’, and provide faith and spiritual continuity. 
     They are also the wealthiest single entity and largest property holders on the planet… and some of that property is in bad shape. 
     In New Orleans. In my neighborhood.
     Many parish churches were closed after Katrina (due to a priest shortage and shifting populations). OK- I get it. 
     The Arch Diocese of New Orleans merged over 36 parishes into more populated, centralized spaces. 
     Parishioners were pissed. Again- I get it. 
     But a business has to be run lean and mean if it’s going to survive- and tending a flock is a business, make no mistake about that.
     However, they have left a glut of vacant buildings (including churches) with no care, no clean-up, no class.
     In December 2010, the Arch Diocese of New Orleans held a press conference proudly announcing the repurposing of Our Lady of Good Council as a ‘shrine’ (without parish lines) that would once again open it’s doors to the faithful. A plan to restore and renovate the church, surrounding land, and school building, was announced. In 2010.
     Fast forward….two years.
     Last week (after Isaac left) I took a walk over to the church ( to see the damage) and was greeted by the new caretaker- no matter that he was living in the doorway, relieving himself in the corner, and had a rat for a pet. 

     He’ll wait.
     He’s faithful. 
     The Church is counting on it.

Directly inside the school’s front door vestibule

The Mass Schedule still stands-
though there are no services.

This tree came down in Isaac.
The outcrop it fell on was damaged in Katrina-
and has never been repaired.

The lovely backside of the school building-
replete with broken windows, crumbling brick,
and hanging gutters.

The grand entrance to the abandoned school.

Photo taken against a glass pane of a pad-locked door-
looking into the church.
Still lovely.


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