Written by: John L. Allen Jr. and Ines San Martin
After he ended up stranded and sleeping in his pickup Saturday night while trying to reach his Houston home, Father David Bergeron got up Sunday morning eager to say Mass. There was no congregation on his overpass, so the enterprising young priest broke out his kayak. He went up and down streets to check on people – trying, he said, to reassure them ‘God is still with us.’
“When a major disaster strikes, the drama it unleashes is always composed of thousands of individual stories - the tragedy of a sudden death, the luck of a near-miss or improbable escape, the fear of people suddenly separated from loved ones or homes, and the heroism of those who risk their own safety to help others.”
Such has been the case again in parts of Texas devastated by Hurricane Harvey over the last few days.
Within that mosaic of individual experiences, one of the most novel surely belongs to Father David Bergeron, a French-Canadian and member of the Companions of the Cross religious order who’s stationed with a few fellow priests at Houston’s large Catholic Charismatic Center. (He’s sort of a living witness to the universality of Catholicism - a French-speaker in an English-speaking country, serving a population that’s 80 percent Hispanic and Spanish-speaking.)
Bergeron ended up stranded in his truck on an area highway Saturday night. Sunday morning, he awoke and naturally wanted to say Mass, but there was no congregation on his overpass. So, the enterprising young priest broke out the kayak that was in the back of his pickup and set off, hoping to find a place where he could buy a bit of wine to round out his on-the-go Mass kit...