Around Jefferson: Program to educate youth about disaster preparedness _lowres

Photo provided by Rummel High - Brother Gale Condit, right, congratulates Bill Arthurs for his 50 years of service to Archbishop Rummel High School in Metairie.

Celebrating 159 years of history and tradition, St. Henry’s Catholic Church continues to draw the people of New Orleans to its sanctuary at 812 Gen. Pershing St. The Uptown church will hold its 26th Feast of St. Henry Reunion beginning with Mass at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 11, followed by a block party from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the 800 block of Gen. Pershing, between Magazine and Constance streets.

The reunion has taken on new meaning since St. Henry’s reopened mid-2012, after its doors closed for more than three years when the Archdiocese of New Orleans consolidated 142 parishes to about 110 after Hurricane Katrina.

“You don’t know what you have until you don’t have it,” said Alden Hagardorn, president of Friends of St. Henry’s, defining the threat of permanent closure as “the awakening.”

Parishioners gathered regularly on the church steps to pray the rosary, never giving up their quest to reopen their longtime place of worship.

“They feel St. Henry’s is part of their life because they fought so hard to preserve the dignity of the church,” Hagardorn said, recalling Catholics, such as Harold Baquet, who tried to save church parishes across the city.

“We almost lost our church, but we never lost our faith,” Hagardorn said.

Everyone is invited to the upcoming reunion and block party. There will be food, drink, sno-balls and entertainment, including music by the J. Monque’D Blues Band.

“At one time, it was pretty much a routine celebration,” Hagardorn said. “Now it’s a special celebration.”

Encore Shop midsummer sale

Help support the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra by coming out for the Encore Shop’s annual midsummer sale from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 14, through Saturday, July 18, 7814 Maple St.

Look for major markdowns on cool summer clothing, shoes and accessories, including dresses, tops and pants; designer label handbags and totes; cocktail and evening wear, sandals and shoes; and necklaces, bracelets and earrings.

As always, sales will contribute to the ongoing success of the LPO. For information, call the store at (504) 861-9028 or visit www.symphony volunteers.org/encore-shop.

Jude-Sounds of N.O. benefit

The fifth annual Jude-Sounds of New Orleans Benefit Concert will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 18, at Mahalia Jackson Theater. The group’s mission is to create a concert of musicians and performers to celebrate and share their talents and the diverse New Orleans musical culture while benefiting the St. Jude Community Center.

The St. Jude center serves the people of New Orleans in many ways, including breakfast and lunch during the week to people in need; housing homeless, working women; providing adult basic education; working with Second Harvest Food Bank to distribute food; and accommodating volunteers who are helping the city rebuild after Katrina.

Concert performers include Paul Sanchez and Minimum Rage, Jamie Vessels, Lynn Drury, Sonia Tetlow, John Boutte, Bonerama, Sweet Crude, TBC Brass Band, Opera Creole and Big Chief David Montana and Washitaw Nation.

For information, visit www.soundsofneworleans.org.

Lynne Jensen writes about New Orleans community events and people. Contact her at jensencolumn@gmail.com.