81-year-old priest happy to be home after Katrina evacuation
Published: August 18, 2006
NEW ORLEANS (CNS) -- A year ago Father Royce Mitchell, now 81, walked in pitch-black darkness along the interstate for some three miles with thousands of others, carrying an overnight bag and praying during the mass exodus from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. He ate one granola bar from the box he had packed and gave five away -- along with the rest of his food -- to those around him in the crowd of nearly 5,000. "I was thinking about everything and praying and wondering how in the world we would get out of this. The lack of communication was the worst thing. We didn't know what was going to happen to us," he told a reporter from The Georgia Bulletin, newspaper of the Atlanta Archdiocese. Father Mitchell, a New Orleans archdiocesan priest who grew up in Atlanta, reflected upon last year's disaster and his efforts to rebuild his life and help others in an interview in his one-bedroom apartment at the Chateau of Notre Dame, a senior continuing care community. He moved there following the storm and now serves as chaplain.
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