In Austin, Chaplains Reach Out to Evacuees of All Faiths

September 8, 2005

Source: Austin American-Statesman

On September 8, 2005 the Austin American-Statesman reported, "The Rev. James Robertson served as a hospital chaplain for 14 years and has 'seen everything you could possibly see.' That is one of the reasons he says Austin Diocese Bishop Gregory Aymond tapped him to lead the Catholic response to the nearly 4,000 hurricane survivors housed at the Austin Convention Center. Robertson, an associate pastor at St. Theresa's Catholic Church in Northwest Austin, provides a quiet presence amid the chaos and cacophony in the center's hallways... He said he's there if people need him, but he doesn't push it. That's the approach taken by other faith leaders who have set up camp among Katrina's victims... 'We don't want to prey on people's vulnerability... in their worst hour of need,' says the Rev. Tim Tutt, pastor of United Christian Church in North Austin and one of the organizers of the Texas Interfaith Disaster Response. Ministers set up a makeshift chaplains' office in one of the convention center rooms where people could go to pray or ask for help. A nearby table holds piles of Bibles, a box of aluminum crosses engraved with the words 'God Loves You,' plastic rosary beads and a single copy of the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu holy book."