A deadlyÃ‚Â series of tornadoes swept through Texas, Arkansas and Missouri over the weekend, killing more than a dozen people and leaving destruction in their paths, andÃ‚Â the impactÃ‚Â at one church nearÃ‚Â Dallas, Texas, isÃ‚Â creatingÃ‚Â quite a bit of buzz.
St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church was among the buildings that were dramatically impactedÃ‚Â when a tornado rippedÃ‚Â through the town of EmoryÃ‚Â on Saturday.
ButÃ‚Â while the roof and walls of the church building were torn off and Ã¢â‚¬Å“both ends of the building were blown out,Ã¢â‚¬Â as Peyton Low, the Diocese of TylerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s director of public affairsÃ‚Â told media,Ã‚Â not one of the 45 people inside was injured.
There reportedlyÃ‚Â wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even a scratchÃ‚Â on any of the adults or children huddled inside.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s an event parishioners are calling a flat-out miracle,Ã‚Â according to the Daily Mail.
Upon news that the tornado was coming, the group left the parish area and congregated in a hallway, ducking down in an effort to keep themselves safe. Just 30 seconds later,Ã‚Â CNN reportedÃ‚Â that chaos ensued, as the group could see through a window thatÃ‚Â the tornado was ripping apart parts of the very building they were in.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We could see the beams bending and the aluminum roof being ripped away,Ã¢â‚¬Â youth ministerÃ‚Â Monica Hughes told CNN, noting that she and her husband held the doors closedÃ‚Â as the storm hit.Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“Everybody dropped to the floor and protected one another.Ã¢â‚¬Â She continued, Ã¢â‚¬Å“As soon as the worst was over, we began to sing to keep the kids calm.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Hughes said that the group Ã¢â‚¬â€ which remained in place for two hours after the storm to ensure their safety Ã¢â‚¬â€ also relied on prayer throughout the ordeal.
Now, in the aftermath, those inside are immensely grateful for their survival.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“People are using the term Ã¢â‚¬ËœmiraculousÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ (to describe what unfolded),Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â Low said.
Saint John the Evangelist Church has shared photos and videos of the devastated church building on Facebook over the past 48Ã‚Â hours, thanking God for protecting those inside.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Saint John the Evangelist Church in Emory, Texas, was totally destroyed by a tornado last night,Ã¢â‚¬Â oneÃ‚Â post read. Ã¢â‚¬Å“About 45 people were just 10-feet away in a hallway sheltering when the tornado hit. By the grace of God and the protection of Our Lady, no one was injured.Ã¢â‚¬Â