Southeast Texas Catholics are working to help those affected by the tornado on the night of April 22.
After finding out that a few of his parishioners were affected, Father Tarsisius Puling, SVD, pastor of St. Joseph in Livingston, travelled to Onalaska to check with parishioners on April 23.
“We have at least five parishioners who were affected,” Father Puling said. “Most of the residents in Onalaska were evacuated to a hotel, relative’s house or another location. The first responders and volunteers are working really hard to keep everyone safe in the city. It was very busy.”
While Father Puling was in Onalaska, parishioners extended their help by making sandwiches for first responders and residents in the area.
“We plan to visit hotels and other locations to feed those residents as well,” Father Puling said.
With the help of his parishioners, Father Puling is working to stay connected with everyone affected as he receives new information.
“I want to ask everyone to keep us in your prayers,” Father Puling said.
Father Ron Foshage, MS, pastor of St. Michael in Jasper, has been checking with his parishioners, especially those who live in Jasper, Kirbyville, Newton and Burkeville. So far, no one has reported any damages.
“I’ve talked to some parishioners to check on them and they’re doing fine,” Father Foshage said. “We lost power for four hours at the church but no damage.”
Father Foshage consistently stays connected with his people through phone calls to receive any new information. He has already been helping parishioners who have lost employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
St. Joseph parishioners are asking for donations ofziptop bags, toothbrushes, deodorant and other items to give to those in need. For a complete list of what to donate, visit St. Joseph’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/stjosephlivingston. Both St. Joseph and St. Michael parishes are part of the Northern Vicariate of the diocese.