The Church: Our Shelter in the Storm

An ecumenical council, or a papal encyclical, could not have given a better definition of the Church than the one given last week by a tearful woman on Breezy Point.

She was being interviewed by a TV reporter, standing over the rubble of her leveled home, one of more than 100 homes in this small Queens community that were destroyed by fire in the middle of Superstorm Sandy last week.  All around her, nothing of her former cherished neighborhood was standing.

In response to the reporter’s question, between sobs, she recounted her experience of that awful night.  As the winds, waves, and drapes of fire came upon her, she obviously fled her little home, looking for safety.  But, she could hardly see!  The gale, the lashing rain, the smoke, the flames . . . !  And there were no familiar landmarks, because all of them were blown away.  She stumbled desperately, calling for help, her voice muted by the roar of Sandy.  Her fear was she’d walk right into the ocean, so disoriented was she, so groping for some security.

Let her finish the “narrow escape”:

“Finally, I looked up, and I was in front of the parish church.  Now I knew where I was!  Now I felt safe!  Now I was home!  The doors were open, the candles were lit, my neighbors were there, Monsignor Curran was there . . . thank God!  I would be okay . . . “

That’s the Church . . . come on in . . . we all need safety in a storm . . . we all need a “home” when our own is gone . . .

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10 Responses to “The Church: Our Shelter in the Storm”

  1. Marilyn Medici says:

    Thank you, Cardinal Dolan, for posting this. It’s such a comforting reminder that we are never alone and that He is ever near!

  2. marylou dascoli says:

    Tearfully, I thank God she found her way to the Lord’s house. No one could have explained it better and live through it.

  3. Dominic says:


    Dear Cardinal,

    Thanks for you thoughts. You may not believe it but there are a lot of people that look up to you. I would like to call you attention to d different type of storm. In case you were not aware, Obama has been reelected. This is horrible. 52% of voting Catholics Voted for him. There is some serious problem going on here in articulation and or education and or Parish Sermons. How has this happened? I don’t know.
    Instead or worrying so much about the physical “sandy” wouldn’t it be prudent to think about the more serious storm and destruction that exists in Catholic Schools and educational intuitions? That is far worse than hurricanes. You need to whip your fellow prelates in line. They seem to have the passion for doing their job as of a constipated turtle.

  4. Mary D says:

    How completely awesome and moving!

  5. Thomas Luce says:

    A Syllogism:

    Catholic teaching opposes abortion.

    Hispanics are devout and observant Catholics.

    Hispanics, as devout and observant Catholics, will act in opposition to abortion, in accord with Catholic teaching.

    President Obama supports abortion.

    Hispanics, as devout Catholics who oppose abortion, will not support Obama’s re-election.
    Fact: 70% of Hispanics voted for Obama in the 2012 election.

    Where does this failure reside? The Catholic pulpit–the priests and bishops of the Catholic Church.

  6. Bill B. says:

    Let us hope that the “home” which we now seek will at least stand against the coming onslaught which will be fueled by the “rights” of those who sin. Nevertheless, though the bricks and mortars of our modern-day “temples” may fall, we must always remember that we ourselves are the temples of the Holy Spirit, and that Chirst is our only hope, pure and simple.

  7. Linda says:

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. It is so scriptural and inspiring that I could see Jesus walking on the waves of the stormy sea. When we know where we are we know who we are with. In God’s temple we rest in the arms of Jesus.

  8. Thomas Lynch says:

    God’s house always has it’s doors open and a welcome light above the altar

  9. Mike Baruffa says:

    I had similar feelings after the election. May God bless the victims of the storms past and
    yet to come.

  10. Scott says:

    Instead of speaking out against voting for abortion promoting candidates, those candidates were invited to the Al Smith dinner. Shortly thereafter a majority of Catholics voted for this evil man and his agenda–so now you are telling us that the church is going to be our shelter in the storm? Little late for that. When the Faith has been watered down and many Catholics are no different from the pagans, where are the shepherds? At dinner.
    I also notice you are very selective about comments on here and make if difficult (below) to get posted. You only hear what you want.