The last few days have not been easy for us. We are used to watching news on TV about damage left behind by storms and tornadoes in others parts of our nation and world. A few days ago, however, we lived it. The lives of many families were changed in a matter of seconds when they saw their homes being torn apart by an F4 tornado. With sadness, they also saw the destruction in their yards, as that big old tree that they took care of for so many years was broken like a stick or even pulled up by the roots.
Nonetheless, this unfortunate situation has been an opportunity for us to come together to assist those in need. It is a time to give witness to our faith, and to let the face of Christ shine through our service. Jesus formed the community of the apostles to be one in heart and mind. Our immediate response is to make the commandment of love a reality by being there for those who need our prayers and physical presence.
We have the human tendency of wanting to have everything under control. When something is out of our hands, we stress out. We have learned that there are forces of nature which are beyond our control. Those phenomena make us realize that we are in need of divine protection. The presence of God is there, however, through the many people who, as good Samaritans, step up to help in many ways.
Our prayers and support are with all of you who need to find another place to live. We know that it is a transitional and difficult moment for you. We pray and hope that soon you can go back to your home.
We do have monetary assistance for those affected by the tornado. Please contact us at the parish office; we will try our best to assist you.
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Rev. Johnson Lopez
Father Lopez is Pastor of Saint Patrick Catholic Church in Rochelle, IL.