COVINGTON, LA (WVUE) - It was an emotional day, Sunday, at St Joseph Abbey near Covington when the church resumed daily services for the first time in three months after the devastating North Shore flooding.
Parishioners packed the church and celebrated their return to the Abbey.
"I have tears in my eyes. I just couldn't stop crying. I was so happy to have everyone back," said Parishioner Alice Couvillon .
The Abbot reflected the same sentiments. "It's just a great day to see everyone return to the Abbey for Sunday Mass. We can't be any more excited or grateful," said Abbot Justin Brown.
The packed church was quite a contrast to March when when flood waters from the Bogue Falaya River inundated the Abbey and the Seminary College with nearly two feet of water.
While the church did not flood, the basement did sustain damage to the electrical and air-conditioning systems. In total 31 buildings and structures sustained varying degrees of damage including Seminary College classrooms and Residence halls. However this is just phase one of the rebuilding process.
"A lot of equipment that went under flood waters had to be changed. So we are at that stage leading us into the rebuilding phase," said the Abbot.
Its not the first time the Abbey's been tested. It also recovered from the great Mississippi flood of 1927. This time another comeback for this spiritual home for many worshipers.
"It's just such a sacred place, and its so nice that we were able to be back. I'm very happy very happy," said Couvillon
Now with their faith and prayers they're ready to move forward to help the Abbey make a full recovery. The Abbey says the estimate for the entire rebuild is 30 million dollars.