“Dunkirk on the Bayou” – Houston parish flooded – VIDEO

A priest friend of mine in Houston sent the following about his parish:

Dry so far. A nearby creek is close to overflowing, so that could be trouble. About 800 made it to Mass over the weekend, 10% of our usual attendance. [800 is 10%?] We continue with regular Masses and confessions, and a few are able to attend. Since I don’t have a boat to pitch in with Dunkirk on the Bayou (as I’m calling it), and even if I did, the Mass is the most powerful weapon we have. Oremus pro invicem!

Father also sent me this video about the really sad situation of another Houston parish.


PRAYERS, please!  Both for my priest friend’s parish and for that parish that is so badly struck.

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  1. Matthew the Wayfarer says:

    So sad that this happened but may be a blessing in disguise. That modernist church looks like it’s ready to be replaced by a traditional one. I don’t believe any Catholic parish in the USA has 8000 members. Sorry.

  2. dahveed says:

    They’ll be among my Rosary intentions and prayers today, certainly. I could only manage about nearly five minutes of the video, as shaky cameras always bother my eyes, but am curious. Any others who are able to watch the whole video, where was the tabernacle? I kept expecting one and didn’t.

  3. un-ionized says:

    Matthew, there are several 8000 member parishes in my diocese, mostly on the outer belt of eastern suburbs with high population density. parish size is counted in “families” for bishop’s annual appeal purposes and a parish with 4000 families can easily have 10,000 members.

  4. hwriggles4 says:

    When 800 is 10% of the parish, there are most likely six or seven Masses over the entire weekend. Here in the South, particularly Dallas and Austin (I would believe parts of Houston) could have 8000 total over the entire weekend, counting heads of women, children, babies, men, visitors, and congregants from the age of 3 weeks to 105. My parish has six Masses (a head count within 3000 to 4500 over a weekend), and parishes like St. Ann in Coppell, St. Jude in Allen, and St. William in Round Rock may have a head count of 8000 on a weekend. I used to attend a large parish in the Fort Worth diocese, which 20 years ago had around 4000 on a given weekend with six Masses.

    Here is another thing at several Texas parishes – many offering Spanish Mass (la misa en espanol solo)- the parking lot is packed at many of those Masses.

  5. Joy65 says:

    Praying for all in Texas that are affected by Harvey and also praying for us here in Cajun country to be by passed from the severe flooding.

  6. frjim4321 says:

    The images are unbelievable. I hope they can keep a lid on the losses of life; which seem low so far considering the size of the storm. I suspect there are other churches involved in this as well … what a burden it will be to rebuild!

  7. yatzer says:

    Interesting that someone else made a connection between this and Dunkirk. Good to know this kind of thing can still happen, although a dreadful way to discover it.

  8. Ocampa says:

    Matthew, too much pessimism is a bad thing. Your belief is wrong:


    There are many large parishes in Houston that have well over 8000 members.

  9. Charivari Rob says:

    Matthew, there are quite a few parishes in this country with thousands of families registered, meaning twice as many (or more) people and many thousands who regularly attend Sunday (or Saturday night) Mass. Not unusual at all, and not surprising in one of the real growth areas for the Church in the US.

    As for your… sentiment regarding that building – Really? You couldn’t get out of the first sentence without sharing that?
    “Blessing in disguise” For you, maybe.

    For that priest and his parishioners, it sounds like they’re counting their blessings that nobody was hurt there and I wouldn’t be surprised if the best case scenario they can hope for at this point is their church is unusable for only a few weeks or months while undergoing expensive repairs – and that’s IF they have homes and jobs after the storm and IF the flood doesn’t get much higher, does recede soon, and they can start repairs quickly so rampant mold and deterioration doesn’t take hold and render the building unsalvageable.

  10. Roncben says:

    The tabernacle is in a glass “side chapel” visible at the very start of the video. It is to the left of the alter, and in the dim light is what looks like a giant glass cubicle. While not my favorite arrangement it at least keeps the tabernacle in the main church, and at the “front.” During mass the curtains are open, it is lit and visible to all. Outside of mass the arrangement facilitates adoration.

    Incidentally, this parish was one of several (8?) in Houston which was designated as a “Holy Doors” pilgrimage site during the year of mercy. There I (hopefully, by the grace of God) received a plenary indulgence.

  11. DetJohn says:

    Per the Diocese of San Bernardino, California.
    St. Paul the Apostle in Chino Hills has 6,930 Families x 2 adults = 13,860 adults.

    per the


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