Among the many Americans serving victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, Catholic sisters are playing a vital role.
They are helping however they can, whether that means assisting with paperwork or prayer.
Dominican Sisters of Mary Immaculate Province of Houston have helped locals fill out FEMA applications, translating for some Vietnamese families and assisting others with the trickier portions, according to The Dallas News. The Dominican Sisters have guided victims through a foreign process, directing them on how to approach clean-up and how to document their losses. Providing a listening ear, a huge and a prayer have also been part of their post-hurricane ministry.
"They need to tell their stories," Sister Bernadette Nguyen told The Dallas News. "It's so important for their own processing to understand what's happened to them and to help them through these big disasters."
Sister Bernadette became an expert on FEMA in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, when her convent took in some 300 families who fled New Orleans.
Providing disaster relief quickly is important, Sister Bernadette learned, but so is being a compassionate friend. That's why she has been visiting local shelters to talk to families who have been devastated by Hurricane Harvey.
"They need to know someone cares."