On September 20, 2017, the Category 4 Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico, leaving widespread devastation in its wake. The storm decimated the island’s infrastructure, leaving it with virtually no electricity or water.
Millions of Puerto Ricans were affected, including the Benedictine Monks of San Antonio Abad Abbey. The Abbey has a well for drinking water, but with no electricity, water could not be drawn. Abbot of the monastery, Oscar Rivera, OSB said “Basically, all fundamental necessities were gone.”
The Abbey has a school attached to it, and one student, Marco Lébron, worried about how the monks were fairing, asked his father, José Lebron-Sanabria, if they could check on them, saying “Dad, we have to bring water to the priests!”
As it happens, José Lebron-Sanabria is General Agent for the Knights of Columbus in Puerto Rico. With the help of the Knights, he and his son were able to bring clean drinking water to the elderly and retired monks.
This is just one of the many works José and his fellow Knights of Columbus performed to support those in need, proving once again that tragedies present opportunities to bring out the best in humanity.
The Knights of Columbus have released a new series that focus on the heroic actions of everyday people titled “Everyday Heroes“. Episode 3 of this series, titled “Grace In The Eye Of The Storm”, focuses on the actions of Jose, his son Marco, and the Knights of Columbus in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.