PAISC: New Building Update

The new Port Arthur International Seafarers' Center building is under construction now located at 401 Houston Avenue at the end of Procter Street. This is your source for updates on the building progress - check back often! If you have questions please feel free to call us at anytime!! (409) 409-982-4504

Monday, October 06, 2008

Hurricane Ike (9-11-08 thru 9-25-08)

Prayer for Hurricane Season--
O God, Master of this passing world, hear the humble voices of your children. The Sea of Galilee obeyed your order and returned to its former quietude; you are still the Master of land and sea. We live in the shadow of a danger over which we have no control. The Gulf, like a provoked and angry giant, can awake from its seeming lethargy, overstep its conventional boundaries, invade our land and spread chaos and disaster. During this hurricane season, we turn to You, O loving Father. Spare us from past tragedies whose memories are still so vivid and whose wounds seem to refuse to heal with the passing of time. O Virgin, Star of the Sea, Our Beloved Mother, we ask you to plead with your Son in our behalf, so that spared from the calamities common to this area and animated with a true spirit of gratitude, we will walk in the footsteps of your Divine Son to reach the heavenly Jerusalem where a storm-less eternity awaits us. Amen.
Originally dedicated to the victims of Hurricane Audrey in 1957.
- Fr. Al Volpe, Cameron Parish, LA

It was Thursday September 11, 2008 a day to remember for the rest of the nation as well as citizens of the entire Gulf Coast Region. Voluntary Evaucation was set for Thursday and Mandatory on early Friday morning. Everything moved so quickly and with the blink of an eye the citizens of city of Port Arthur and other neighbor cities left town in fear of water surges and our town was to be under water. Everyone left to their destinations and our city was once again was a ghost town. Because exactly two weeks earlier everyone evacuated for Hurricane Gustav but with lots of praying thankfully we didn't get hit.
But as on the late evening of Friday September 12, 2008 the storm hit the Galveston-Kemah area and literally everything had disappeared within hours. The entire SouthEast Texas was hit late Friday night into early Saturday morning. Standard damages occured-- trees down, wide spread power outages, debris everywhere, and lighter object materials was in someone elses property. So much items and belongings was heavily destroyed but thank God our Savior that the staff of the Center did have a place to come home to. But unfortunately our neighbor city Bridge City, Orange, Sabine Pass along with other areas was totally devasted. Please keep those citizens in the disaster areas within your thoughts and prayers in this time of need.
These are the Counties Declared Hurricane Ike Federal Disaster Areas: Angelina, Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Cherokee, Fort Bend, Galveston, Grimes, Hardin, Harris, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Trinity, Tyler, Walker, Waller and Washington.

However the Port Arthur International Seamans' Center sustained minor damages with the building. Here are a few pictures of the Center...

We Thank God for his many blessings bestowed up the Port Arthur International Seafarers' Centers as well as our staff and their families. We are so Thankful that we will have a place to work and the center is still up and running despite the mold, leakage and mildew we are here and welcome donations.. May God Bless Everyone at every moment of the day.

God Bless everyone with Smooth Sailing Throughout the day...

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Update of 2008..

Hello!! Its been such a long time since we have blogged and kept our members up with information and there is so much to be shared.. During the month of July we welcomed two new members to our team; Mr. Robert Collins is our NEW director of the Seafarers Center also Khiem Nguyen as our Office Coordinator. We are so HAPPY to welcome our New Staff Members!!

Along with our new members we celebrated our annual Cayman Night with the Port Arthur Chambers of Commerce at the Bob Bowers Civic Center in Port Arthur, TX. It was a HUGE success!! We had entertainment guest BareFoot Man and the "Devil" himself!!

Father Sinclair, BareFoot Man and visitors VISITING the Seafarers' Center.

Father Sinclair conversating with the Devil!! =D

Is Father Sinclair being friends with the Devil?!

Maryanne Reid and Verna Rutherford Port Arthur Chambers of Commerce

Tracie Middleton one of our many volunteers! She's having too much fun at Cayman Night! =)

our New office coordinator Khiem Nguyen and Volunteer Nuong Tran at the Cayman Night.

Doreen Badeaux and her nephew.

Father Sinclair introducing the native of Cayman Island to everyone in Southeast Texas.

Cute Kids!! =D

Nuong, Khiem, and Father Sinclair take a break!!

Doreen and Father Sinclairs' Dad

the Big Crowd!! =D

all and all everything went smooth and perfect! we had such a wonderful time and worked hard to make this event a night to remember throughout the year!!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

New Center opens Seafarers' Section!

At long last! The New Center is open!!!!!!

The Seafarer's Section is open. This includes:

  • Recreation area

  • Communication Room

  • Store/Office Area

  • Bar

  • Restrooms

Now don't run off too know there are several areas still awaiting funds for completion...........

This includes:

Meeting Room /Banquet facilities

Interfaith Chapel


Volunteer Workroom

Office for Chaplains

OH! And did I mention furniture???? Do you notice the chairs in front of the nice new TV donated by BASF? We sure would be interested in a couple of sofa's or Lazy Boys to go into this section. If you or a friend can assist with this, the seafarers....and our volunteers would certainly be grateful!

Our new Center sports a modest bar, for those seafarers who would like a drink or two...(no more than that,, thank you very much!) It will also be available for those who wish to rent our meeting room/banquet facilities.

Here, Robert Collins, our driver ... and Baptist Chaplain ...tempts our volunteer Frank to a drink.....Frank took the coffee! (Actually....Robert doesn't drink it's all in good fun!)

We've had a Cigar Evening and a Bike Blessing in the New Center, and this last weekend, we were finally able to make the official move from the Old Center to the New Center.

We hope you'll give us a call and let us show you around the New Center. There are many completed areas to enjoy, and several incomplete areas to view and assist with.

Thanks to everyone for the on-going support!


Interfaith Chapel for New Seafarers' Center

One of the more interesting sections of the Seafarers' Center, will be an Interfaith Chapel.

Interestingly enough, we did not know the significance of the area where we planned to place the chapel, until after we made our plans.

It turns out, that when the old depot was originally built, there was a section on the tower nearest the canal, where people of minority populations were made to go to get their tickets and wait away from the "whites". That was a sad time in our country, when people were afraid of cultural, language, religious, and really any visible differences.

Imagine how thrilled we were to realize that really by accident, our new center will be helping to mend old hurts. Now, instead of a place of division, the new center will house an Interfaith Chapel on that very spot. Not only will this be a place of prayer, but a place for people of all faiths to come and worship and reflect. What a beautiful thing to happen to a place which originally made people mistrust our we celebrate them!

The chapel is one section of the Center that is still undone. We are still needing funds for this section. We have already been given an Altar for the chapel....and what an altar!

A local mariner with Moran Towing, Mr. Bo Dumesneil, has created a one of a kind altar for us. It is created with 2 actual port holes, a propeller, and legs made to look like out-riggers of a shrimp boat. It is really quite awesome. Later, I'll put pictures of the completed item on line. For now, there are pictures of the altar under construction.

Bo and his wife Karen were able to get many local individuals and businesses in on this project. ... but I'd better not mention any of them until I have the full list...
If you, your organization or church can assist us with the funds for the chapel, or any other part of the Center, I welcome you to call me at 409- 985-4545 and let us give you a tour of the Center, and ask any questions you may have....and of course...we welcome your Donations!

Thomas the Tank Engine visits Seafarers' Center!

Well, I guess everyone wants to see the Old KCS Depot back in service. This Christmas Season, even Thomas the Tank Engine came to see the old depot in it's new form.

The KCS retirees onboard, enjoyed viewing the "old depot", though they had to be reminded that this is actually a new building. It gave us the opportunity to explain the mission of the Seafarers' Center to them, and to provide a few of the same services to them as we do to our visiting mariners.

Fr. Sinclair and all the other grown boys enjoyed his collection of trains which he showed inside the new center.
The little kids enjoyed watching all the "big boy toys".

Keep a look-out for the holiday train next Christmas Season. It is quite a thing to see...and now there's a nice warm Center to view it from!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Phase II Funding Complete! Inside Building to commence

Dear Friends,
The Seafarers' Center is coming along nicely. The outer shell is complete, and the security lighting will soon be connected.

Last week, the Board Of Directors moved to start the bid process on the inside "Seafarers' Section". This section includes the foyer, and most of the left hand side of the new Center. It includes the seafarers' recreation room, as well as a convenience store, communications room and library.

The day we agreed to go out for bids, we received a donation of $20,000 from a VERY GENEROUS friend of the Seafarers' Center. This amount will allow us to complete that section.

On Saturday of that same week, we received $25,000 from another very generous supporter. This amount will mean that we can begin work on the kitchen facility as well.

So, we have much to celebrate. But it's not complete yet, so please forward this blog to others who may wish to help!

Thanks to all of you for your prayers and support!


Monday, March 05, 2007

Phase I nearly complete!

Dear Friends,

You can see by the picture that phase I is nearly done. Originally, phase I was to build only the outer shell of the old depot. New wind storm requirements demanded that a great more was done to the interior. So the bad news is that Phase I was more expensive than we originally expected, but the good news is that portions of Phase II are now complete.

I must say that thanks to the strenuous new wind storm requirements, we will be in good shape in the event of another hurricane like Rita.

At our Christmas Party, we received some wonderful donations from friends of the Seafarers' Center. We are thankful for all donations, which include:

  • Glenn and Kathy Boudreaux $1,000
  • Andrew and Joyce Green $2500
  • Extension Education Association of Jefferson County $600
  • Cheniere LNG $5000
  • Women's Maritime Club $500
  • Huntsman Petrochemical Corp. $5000 (with an additional $5000 pledged)
  • Gulf Copper Employees $10,000
  • Port Neches Towing, Wayne and Forest Barber $6,000

If you haven't had a chance to donate yet, now's your chance! If you would like to speak to someone about the project, any one of our Board Members would be happy to speak with you. Feel free to call the Center at 409-982-4504 or call me directly at 409-985-4545