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Thanks for Katrina help

Observer Viewpoint | Wednesday, September 21, 2005

On behalf of the Alliance for Catholic Education, especially those ACE teachers who serve in the Gulf Coast area, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the entire Notre Dame community for your generous outpouring of donations and prayers over the past few weeks. Hurricane Katrina devastated the Mississippi coastline where seven ACE teachers work, and daunting challenges face their schools as they clean up and, in some cases, rebuild. Neighboring dioceses have taken into their schools thousands of displaced students, as the entire region seeks to respond to this crisis. Your generous contributions and solidarity mean more than you may know to all of us associated with ACE.

Special thanks to Student Activities and to all the volunteers who helped to collect and count money during Saturday’s game. Your efforts helped to raise almost $200,000 for hurricane relief, one quarter of which has been directed to ACE to distribute to desperately needy Catholic schools in the Biloxi area. Many thanks also to Father Warner and Campus Ministry, who allocated one-half of the campus offertory collection two weeks ago for ACE to distribute to the schools it serves. These funds are being augmented daily by contributions from ACE graduates and others to our hurricane relief effort, donations that already total over $30,000.

We pledge to work closely with local leaders to direct these gifts to the schools with greatest need. Above all, parents along the Gulf Coast want their schools to reopen as soon as possible to bring comfort and stability to their children’s lives, and your gifts and efforts will help many achieve this goal. The entire Notre Dame community can take pride in our ACE teachers – their dedication to their students and schools brings hope to a community that has, from the program’s inception 12 years ago, welcomed and supported our teachers with incredible hospitality. Our love and prayers are with them in the difficult times ahead.

John StaudDirector of Pastoral Formation and AdministrationAlliance for Catholic EducationSept. 20