It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired.  I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue.  I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe.  I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great..... In His Majesty's Service, THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

For The Tornado Victims In Joplin Missouri

St. Mary's Catholic Church and School
Before Tornado
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Having lived in the Ozarks for many years I can tell you tornadoes of this magnitude are unusual here. Most of the plains storms lose their punch before hitting the Ozarks and then regain strength after passing through our mountain range. So the power of this tornado on Sunday May 22, 2011 caught the people of Joplin Missouri completely off guard.

The twister was approximately a mile wide, wiping out a large Catholic hospital and at least one Catholic parish and school.  An uncountable number of homes were destroyed, as well as a large swath of commercial property.  The entire southern portion of Joplin looks as if its been carpet bombed for weeks.  Some have compared the devastation to the blast of a small atomic bomb.  At last count 116 people were confirmed dead.  That number is expected to rise, and approximately 1,500 people are still unaccounted for.  It is the worst storm to hit Missouri in over half a century.

St. Mary's Catholic Church and School
After Tornado
I understand that many people were just doing their Sunday evening shopping at the local Wal Mart super-center when it hit.  They're still pulling bodies out of the rubble from that store.  I also heard people had less than a five-minute warning between when the storm sirens went off and when the tornado actually hit.  That's not enough time to do much.  Again, that is virtually unheard of in the Ozark Mountains.  I've been here for a while, and I've never seen or heard of anything like this in this particular region.

The storm on Sunday evening was followed by the most beautiful double rainbow I've ever seen.  It had colors I've never seen in a rainbow before.  Were the storm not so destructive, it might have been more enjoyable to watch.

The local bishop, James V. Johnston, has already toured the region and visited the parishes destroyed by the tornado.  His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has also sent his condolences and blessings.  More severe storms are scheduled to hit the region tonight and tomorrow.

If you would like to help you can give through Catholic Charities USA, click on this link, or you can send your check directly to.....
Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri
601 S. Jefferson Avenue
Springfield, MO 65806

Make a note that the donation is for "Joplin."