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(NECN: Karen Swensen, New Orleans, La.) - Nearly five years after Hurricane Katrina brought devastation to the streets of New Orleans, the city's football team earned a berth in Super Bowl XLIV.
The success of the New Orleans Saints this season has helped re-invigorate the city, which is still on a long path to recovery following Katrina.
The support for the Saints even reached a holy level, as Rev. Msgr. Crosby W. Kern of St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans wore a Drew Brees jersey underneath his vestments while celebrating Sunday Mass.
He even led a "who dat?" cheer outside the Cathedral.
"Who dat? Who dat? Who dat say gonna beat dem Saints?" the monsignor chanted with a group of fans.
Typically, the archbishop would celebrate mass at the Cathedral on Sunday, but he is in Miami -- at Super Bowl XLIV. He is accompanied by the 96-year-old retired archbishop, who was asked way back when if it was okay to name the team the Saints. He gave his blessing, but cautioned that saints are often martyrs.
In August of 2005, Katrina ruined the team's home -- the Super Dome -- along with the homes of so many of its fans.
Judy Slack and her family lost everything due to the storm, but she endured.
"I think the city feels really good. Everything is up, up up -- looking up," Slack, who lived in the Lower 9th Ward when Katrina hit, said prior to the Super Bowl.
With Lent around the corner, it's Mardi Gras time and the Saints are in the Super Bowl. Things are looking up.
NECN's Karen Swensen worked in New Orleans at the time of Katrina, and returned to the city this on Super Bowl weekend to catch a look at the recovery and excitement surrounding the hometown team.