Life takes a bad turn

I sometimes put on my Cassandra cap and want people that things can happen in the wink of an eye. “Be prepared!”, I cry.

Washington, IL.


Tornados happen.

Whole neighborhoods are gone.

So… again… prayers for all the people affected by the horrible storms and remember groups like Team Rubicon.

BTW… a friend contributed to Team Rubicon and got a phone call back with thanks for the contribution.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Sonshine135 says:

    When I see pictures like this, it reminds me of the March 1st, 1997 outbreak of tornadoes in Little Rock, AR. I was stationed at Little Rock AFB at the C-130 school house. A tornado hit southwest Little Rock, and the super cell storm ended up over the base. I went outside, people’s bills and tax paperwork were raining from the sky with the rain and hail. It was so eerie. I always supposed that it was people’s paperwork that was in their attic that got sucked up by the Tornado and circulated in the storm cloud, eventually falling 25 miles away.

  2. iPadre says:

    Prayers for these poor people! And to us a reminder, frequent Confession. “You know not the day or the hour.”

  3. tioedong says:

    Sigh. One can be prepared, but when I lived in Oklahoma, I figured my emergency kit (kept in the garage) would probably be blown to Kansas if a tornado ever hit (none never did, but one hit nearby). Ditto for earthquakes, typhoons, flooding etc. You need a plan, and supplies…and a good cellphone to keep in touch with the relatives.

    And keep those hit by typhoons here in the Philippines in your prayers.

    We were not hit by the big supertyphoon, but a “smaller” typhoon that went through Luzon 2 weeks earlier and destroyed the crops, and a lot of farms/businesses, cars, and homes were partly destroyed. The farmers are now busy plowing under the destroyed rice crops to plant a second crop early, and we will see hunger in the area until this second planting is harvested…But at least we have our home…our relatives in the Visayas were left with only a few concrete walls to mark where their home was.

  4. JuliB says:

    There were other towns hurt by these touch-downs. If you heard at all about Coal City and the next door town of Diamond, what you may not have heard is that Coal City is next to Braidwood, home to a nuclear plant. Scary… Luckily, Braidwood wasn’t harmed.

  5. Supertradmum says:

    Fr. Z., thank you for being a Cassandra. I am accused of being one as well. Sadly, too many Americans are too optimistic about either the human ability to control nature, or too optimistic about their neighbors’ reactions to truth. We must be prepared and prepare our children as well for suffering.

  6. bookworm says:

    I lived in Washington IL for 6 years — the years in which I met and married my husband and in which our daughter was born (she turned 18 on Sunday!). As far as I can tell this tornado passed about a mile or maybe a mile and an half to the east of where our old house is.

    A big reason more people were not hurt or killed, is that the tornado hit at 11 a.m. on a Sunday — an hour when most people are at home or at church, rather than being outdoors, at work or school or commuting from/to those places, or attending public events. This is somewhat unusual, but not unheard of, as most (but not all) tornadoes occur in the late afternoon and early evening.

    Although none of the churches in Washington were hit, and many (including St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and School) are now providing food, shelter and other assistance to the displaced, this should serve as a reminder to all parish pastors and staff to have a plan in place for what to do if tornadoes threaten during Mass. Is there a space large enough to shelter your entire congregation? Do you have a means OTHER than outdoor sirens (which may not always work, or which your parishioners might not be able to hear indoors) for receiving warnings?

    Also, do you check weather forecasts and know when severe weather is expected? The Storm Prediction Center ( had been outlooking the area including IL and IN for a possible severe weather outbreak at least 3 days earlier, marked it as “high risk” late Saturday night and had issued a “particularly dangerous situation” (PDS) tornado watch for most of IL around 8:30 a.m. I would suggest that when a tornado watch, especially a PDS tornado watch, is in effect for your area during scheduled Mass times, an exception should be made to the usual rule of silencing electronic devices during Mass, so that tornado warnings can be received immediately by those with smartphones, pagers, etc.

  7. bookworm says:

    FYI: the National Weather Service has determined the Washington tornado had peak winds of 190 mph (high-end EF-4 intensity, comparable to the famous Tuscaloosa AL tornado of 2011) and was on the ground for 46 miles… it didn’t completely dissipate until it was near Pontiac IL.

  8. Kathleen10 says:

    Tioedong, so glad you are okay, and praying for the Phillipines. I’ve known so many good people from your country.

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