Parishioners from three churches give blood for Congressman Scalise

Parishioners from three churches give blood for Congressman Scalise

METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - Parishioners from wounded Congressman Steve Scalise's home church, and two other churches, turned out in large numbers Sunday to show their support.

While Scalise's prognosis seems to be improving, many who know him say they are doing all they can to help out.

They filed into St Catherine of Sienna Sunday, to pray, and to give back.

"It's a community effort from multiple parishes," said Scalise family friend Jeb Bruneau.

Parishioners, from St Catherine's as well as St Pius, and St Dominick, rolled up their sleeves for an old friend.

"Everyone is stunned, I've known (Steve) Scalise for 18 years," said media personality Spud McConnell. He says Steve won him over, after he ran for Congress years ago.

"I ran for the state house, for the film industry, I lost my election, but Scalise picked it up, made it better, and I feel the industry improved, and I feel I won," said McConnell.

Others turned out, just to make a difference.

"I got a text from two of my sisters, and it encouraged me. I've never given blood before," said donor Gretchen Liljeberg.

Scalise's condition has improved from critical to serious, and many are relieved.

"He was awake watching the LSU game last night, and he's in good spirits," said Bruneau.

"I'm so glad nobody lost their lives, but it's a shame that it took something like this to bring people together," said donor Perry Najolia.

But while many are relieved, they worry about the nation's political climate.

"I think this country needs to sit down, have a cup of coffee, and talk it out," said McConnell.

In Metairie Sunday, many give back for someone who's been a friend, as well as an elected official who stepped up to make a difference, as House Majority Whip.

"The support of the parish has been overwhelming," said Bruneau.

And they pray for him and his continued improvement, as well as  the country.

Congressman Scalise posted family pictures and a message on Twitter Sunday, saying his greatest joy is being a father to Madison and Harrison, and a husband to Jennifer...the message went on to thank supporters, and say take the time to be close, with the ones you love.

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