Tourists stranded in New Orleans by the approach of a monster hurricane gathered for Roman Catholic Mass at the oldest cathedral in the U.S. as the first gales began to lash the city.
Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond led a special prayer at 9 a.m. Mass for the protection of the people of Louisiana and cited a passage from the Gospel of Mark where Jesus, in a boat with his disciples on the Sea of Galilee, commanded a raging storm to cease. The 11 o’clock Mass was canceled.
“Jesus was in that boat 2,000 years ago and he’s in our boat today,” Aymond told the half-a-dozen attendees.
Ralph Tovar, a visitor from Chicago who was stranded in town because his flight was canceled, tore apart a plastic umbrella bag to fashion a rain-proof hood. Outside St. Louis Cathedral, sidewalks and normally bustling squares in the heart of the city’s tourist district were deserted. Trash cans tipped over the wind rolled around in the street.
“It’s in God’s hands now,” Tovar said as he left the church. “Hopefully, we can get out Tuesday. Stay safe everyone and try to stay inside.”
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