StPiusX_in_Ragley

St. Pius X Catholic Church in Ragley sustained damage in Hurricane Laura.

The Catholic Diocese of Lake Charles has selected DCMC Partners and The Lemoine Co. of Lafayette to assist with its recovery efforts from Hurricane Laura, which ravaged church properties, mostly in Cameron and Calcasieu parishes, three weeks ago.

The announcement was made last week on the diocese’s website.

“The breadth and depth of losses within the diocese are astounding,” Stephanie Rodrigue, director of temporal goods at the Diocese of Lake Charles, said. “Initial estimates are just beginning to come in, but we think the diocese experienced at least $60-$100 million in losses, maybe more.”

Damages include destruction of five church parishes while four others experienced major damage; the loss of facilities and equipment supporting dozens of supported service organizations; and significant storm-related impacts across five of the six schools within the diocese, the diocese said in an issued statement. Because of the “unprecedented challenge,” the diocese said, it sought outside, expert help.

“It is critical that our many parishes, schools and service entities get the help they need to return as soon as possible, so that we can continue to provide needed services and spiritual support in our communities,” said Most Rev. Glen John Provost, M.A., D.D., bishop of Lake Charles, who oversees the activities and spiritual health of the Diocese of Lake Charles.

“Our decision to hire DCMC Partners and The Lemoine Co. after a considered, competitive process that involved many qualified firms, will help us begin our recovery process to fully restore our Diocese for today, as well as tomorrow.”

The firms have a long history providing similar services both in Louisiana and nationally, the diocese said. They’ll provide the diocese with project management support and will be responsible for overseeing and executing Federal Emergency Management Agency funded projects.

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DCMC’s website says it worked after Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike in Louisiana to help clients secure and manage billions in recovery dollars. The company worked with state agencies, parishes and private non-profits to develop projects.

Lemoine Co. is a full-service general contracting and construction management firm. It operates form offices in Lafayette, Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

Rodrigue said the DCMC Partners and Lemoine were among nine companies to inquire about leading the diocese’s efforts to recover; six submitted plans. DCMC and Lemoine, which offered a joint plan, was chosen based on “tallied scores.”

The companies began work Saturday, reviewing damages at St. Louis High School in Lake Charles.

After Hurricane Harvey in 2017, FEMA changed its policies to include some federal funding for religious groups under certain circumstances. In many cases, the government has used houses of worship to shelter people during and after storms.

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Email Ken Stickney at kstickney@theadvocate.com.