Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Saint Meinrad tornado

I received word today that while I have been away on vacation, a tornado hit Saint Meinrad in the very early morning hours of Sunday, June 26. No one was hurt, I've been told, but there was some significant damage in the area, including on the grounds of Saint Meinrad Archabbey.

You can view some photos (including the one above) taken by Fr. Eugene and posted on the Saint Meinrad Facebook page here.

As you can see, the damage includes roofs being torn partially or completely off several buildings, collapsed structures, and uprooted trees. It appears that most (but by no means all) of the damage was at the bottom of the Hill in the corner of the campus where the Abbey Press warehouse and shipping plants are located, the physical facilities buildings, and the Gessner House.

The tornado touched down at 2:12 a.m. at the southern edge of the campus and moved east-northeast for about five minutes and 2.3 miles. Wind speeds were clocked at 95-100 mph.

Fr. Kurt, the monastery prior, reports that this is the closest and most violent encounter Saint Meinrad has had with a tornado in his 41 years at the monastery.

In an unrelated matter, we have also learned that the father of Br. Luke (who is in Switzerland as I was last summer) has died after a long illness. Last summer while I was away, Br. Luke's mother died. May they both rest in peace.

If you would, please take a moment to pray for Br. Luke's entire family and for all those throughout the country affected by the severe weather and flooding this summer and past spring.

As for my vacation, things have thankfully been much more pleasant than they apparently have been back home in Indiana. I have been visiting with a number of family members and friends, doing some bass fishing, watching some baseball, and doing some writing for a fun project that is long overdue. I plan to be back at Saint Meinrad July 5.

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