Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Overnight Storm Damages Two Parishes' Property

A statue of Mary and Jesus, unharmed, stands near a line of trees that suffered catastrophic damage on the property of St. Mary Parish, Ireland, after sunrise on March 1. Photos by Dave Weatherwax/Dubois County Herald special to the Message

A strong line of severe thunderstorms – some of them packing tornadoes – roared through the Tri-State overnight on Feb. 28-March, and they damaged three parishes in the Diocese of Evansville.

No injuries were reported.

St. Mary Parish in Ireland sustained the most significant damage. Pastor Father Gary Kaiser said that two trees hit the parish center, knocking out some windows and taking out its air-conditioning units. The storm also destroyed the garage of the rectory and the press box of the ball field, which is located just east of the church. A line of trees between the church and the ball field also suffered extensive damage, according to Father Kaiser.

The Dubois County Herald graciously provided The Message with photos showing that a statue of the Blessed Mother holding the Baby Jesus stood undamaged only a few yards from the treeline that got leveled.

Also in Dubois County, the message sign at Holy Family Parish in Jasper collapsed due to storm damage.

Holy Cross Parish in Fort Branch, Gibson County, also suffered damage. Pastor Father Tony Ernst said the storms destroyed a small building at Holy Cross Cemetery. That is the only significant damage he was aware of related to the parish, but he said multiple properties in the community suffered major storm damage.