Sacred Heart Church in Island Park is in an area of the Diocese of Rockville Centre among the most devastated by Hurricane Sandy, but the pastor urged parishioners not to fret about the material goods they have lost."Don't be angry. We lost stuff. We will get other stuff," Msgr. John Tutone, pastor, told the congregation during his homily at Sunday Mass Nov. 4. "We still have each other and the people we love. That's the most important thing.""There are people on your block that need you. Knock on their doors and offer your help. We have to maintain our souls," he said. "We have to maintain ourselves by helping others."In the community of 10,000 people in the southwest corner of Nassau County, Long Island, 80 percent of the homes were flooded. The church, too, was flooded with about a foot of water, damaging the floor. Three feet of water was pumped out of the parish center, which is now being used for Masses.As of Nov. 4, Island Park was still without electricity and the village's mayor, James Ruzicka, announced at the end of Sunday Mass that it would be at least another two weeks before power was restored.Cellphones weren't working, Msgr. Tutone told Catholic News Service. "(The) worst thing is not having communication."He shared a story about a stranger's generosity. After the hurricane, a man in his 70s whom the priest did not know drove up to the church and saw Msgr. Tutone outside. He was not wearing his clerical garb. The man asked him if he was the parish priest. After Msgr. Tutone said he was, the unidentified man handed him a bank envelope and told him to "rebuild your church" before driving off.When Msgr. Tutone later opened the envelope, he found $1,500 in cash inside.In Long Beach, an island just south of Island Park that faces the Atlantic Ocean, 35,000 residents also were devastated by the hurricane, left without electricity and a working waste disposal system. Portable toilets were spread throughout the city.St. Ignatius Martyr is a sturdy 88-year-old Lombard Romanesque brick church that sits a block from the ocean. The church survived the hurricane of 1938, the worst storm to hit Long Island until Sandy, but the super storm caused minimal damage to the church, though the rectory basement was flooded to the ceiling.Nearly 200 people gathered in the cold, dark church for the 10 a.m. Sunday Mass Nov. 4, celebrated by Msgr. Donald Beckmann, pastor, wearing tennis shoes. Msgr. Beckmann, a chaplain for the Long Beach Fire Department, remained in the rectory when the island was evacuated, he said, because "the fire department stays.""It was a scary time, especially watching cars float up and down Broadway, watching the water getting higher and higher before it stopped," he told CNS. "The support of the parishioners, the way they reached out to me, has been heartwarming."Following is a compilation of reports by other areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.Bronx: Expanded ministry to the needy Father Richard Roemer's usual job is ministering to the impoverished people of the central south area of the Bronx. After Hurricane Sandy, the 43-year-old Franciscan Friar of the Renewal’s job description has expanded exponentially. "There's been no flooding damage in this part of the Bronx," said the vicar of St. Crispin Community in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx a couple days after Sandy made landfall. "Immediately next to us has seen some really bad damage, though. Trees and telephone poles got knocked down. It's a miracle it wasn't worse.”The friars' St. Crispin compound in the middle of an economically devastated neighborhood includes the Padre Pio Shelter, to offer a bed, clothing and meals for 18 homeless men every night, and the St. Anthony's Residence, which since 1993 has provided 65 units of temporary housing for other homeless men, many of whom suffer from mental illness or have little education, a history of violence or crime, and/or substance abuse problems. Since Sandy, "requests for food have gone up," Father Roemer said. "Most of the people we're dealing with are looking for shelter, but we're all full up here. But we can offer them food and refer them to city-run shelters and other services for the poor because of the hurricane."Brooklyn: Go forward step by stepAfter Hurricane Sandy swept through the East Coast, leaving untold destruction behind, cleaning efforts were under way at St. Rose of Lima Church in Rockaway Beach. "Step by step, we will try to go forward," said Father Wladyslaw Kubrak, parochial vicar, as he shoveled leaves and branches off the church driveway. Although the church sustained serious water damage and had no power, Father Kubrak was not planning on evacuating. He said he wanted to stay to console the people coming for guidance after they have lost so much. The church stayed opened the night of Oct. 30 for people who needed shelter, and the chapel was open for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. A day after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Brooklyn Diocese with floods, fire and utility outages, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio visited the most affected parishes to gain a better understanding of the state of the diocese and to pray with his people. "It's hard to think that this kind of destruction could happen in our city," he said as he rode along the Rockaway Peninsula. West Virginia: Prayers for all sufferingBishop Michael Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston has asked each parish in the diocese to take a special collection the weekend of Nov. 10-11 in support of Catholic Charities West Virginia, which began setting up long-term recovery efforts to respond to damage left by Hurricane Sandy. "We are very concerned for all those who have been affected by this terrible storm, especially for our own people who have suffered here in West Virginia," Bishop Bransfield said in a statement. "We, as a Catholic community, are conscious of the great suffering of the East Coast and those who have lost everything, and we pray for them and for those in West Virginia affected by this storm." The Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund for West Virginia is being established to accept donations to local parishes, the diocese or directly to Catholic Charities West Virginia. Funds raised by the special collection will be used for direct assistance to provide utility assistance, food, clothing and other essential services.Cuba: Thousands left homelessCatholic leaders in Cuba are calling for emergency assistance to help feed and shelter thousands of victims of Hurricane Sandy, which cut a devastating path through the eastern part of the island. "There are thousands and thousands of people that are in need of help," said Santiago de Cuba Archbishop Dionisio Garcia Ibanez Nov. 6. "It is going to take several years to fully recover from this." Santiago, Cuba's second-largest city, and the eastern part of the island were devastated by the storm Oct. 25 before it headed north to the U.S. mainland. Homes, community buildings, churches, electricity grids, telephone lines and roads were destroyed. Authorities said 11 people died. In addition, some 330,000 people evacuated, the vast majority of who stayed with friends and family members. The storm damaged an estimated 200,000 homes and hundreds of schools. Send relief funds to Catholic Charities, archdiocese urges In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and especially in light of the loss, death and devastation it caused, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles recommends that contributions to help the victims of this storm be made directly through Catholic Charities USA.“As you know, the needs will be there for some time to come,” said Msgr. Joseph Brennan, Moderator of the Curia and Vicar General for the archdiocese in a Nov. 2 letter to parishes, schools and other archdiocesan institutions. He suggested three options for contributing to assistance relief efforts:—Online at—Checks payable to: Catholic Charities USA, P.O. Box 17066, Baltimore, MD 21297-1066.—Credit card payments by phoning Catholic Charities USA at 1-800-919-9338.{gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2012/1109/sandy/{/gallery}