A US bishop has said that his diocese “may have been spared greater disaster” because of Mary’s intercession when numerous tornadoes and widespread damaging winds ripped through Alabama and much of the South earlier this week.
Bishop Robert J. Baker explained that the Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama, falls in the trajectory of what is referred to as ‘Dixie Tornado Alley’ and, due to this, it has a special prayer it promotes when storms approach.
“As the storms came our way Easter Sunday evening, I went to Facebook and shared that prayer to Our Lady of Joyful Hope,” he said.
“To my knowledge, just one rectory had some damage to a storage area,” added the bishop, who retired as head of the diocese on 25th March. He is serving as apostolic administrator until his successor, Bishop Steven J. Raica, is installed on 23rd June.
Bishop Baker said that while there was no loss of life in Alabama, serious damage was done to homes in northern Alabama, especially in the area around Tuscaloosa and the region around Boaz, Alabama. “Our Catholic Social Services offices in those areas will reach out to people in distress,” he added.
The storms hit central Texas early on 12th April with what was described as “gigantic” hail, leaving damage behind as the storms went east through Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas. New reports said the severe weather left at least 33 dead and over 1 million people without power early in the morning of 13th April.
Picture: A semi in Monroe, La., is seen flipped on its side in the aftermath of a tornado on 12th April 2020. The National Weather Service reported on 13th April that more than 30 tornadoes ripped across Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Georgia. (CNS photo/Peter Tuberville, social media via Reuters).