Marian statue stops flyaway roof at St. Stephen Parish in Weatherford
WEATHERFORD — The 70 mph winds that blew through St. Stephen Parish in Weatherford the evening of March 2 were no match for Mary. After all, in the Litany of Loreto, she’s called “Virgin most powerful.” And her Son could calm a storm.
Around 5:30 p.m., Father Emmet O’Hara, SAC, and several others were in the church preparing for Eucharistic Adoration when the level 4 storm approached. Fr. O’Hara said he was watching through the church’s glass doors as the squall line blew through.
The winds suddenly became strong, and the huge metal roof of the parish’s clubhouse lifted off the building and blew across the parking lot towards the statue of Mary and the church.
Fr. O’Hara and another parishioner had time for a quick Hail Mary, and, amazingly, after traveling nearly 100 yards, the roof stopped at the back of the marble statue of Our Lady, which was imported from Italy.
Afterwards, the church put out a call for Knights of Columbus and other parishioners to help clear the debris on Friday morning. Todd Werts, business manager for the parish, said, “The response was amazing. About 30 showed up to help,” and the property looked orderly before the 9 a.m. Mass.
The property was largely without power for at least 15 hours, but electricity was restored in time for the Knights of Columbus fish fry Friday evening.
The church roof has a large patch of shingles missing; the clubhouse — used for youth and group meetings — sustained some water damage; but the statue of Mary has just a few minor scratches.
Another intervention from the Queen of Peace, now and at the hour of our death.