EF4 tornado destroys Saint Joseph's Catholic Church in Ridgway, Illinois

7:19 AM, Mar 1, 2012   |    comments
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By Jeff Small

Ridgway, IL (KSDK) - A lot of families around Ridgway, Illinois have been here for generations. Their parents, grandparents and great grandparents built this town and a Catholic church some 20 miles from Ridgway was destroyed by the EF4 tornado.

There is not much left of the church, and people are devastated and shocked, but determined to rebuild.

It has weathered many storms over the years, but even the thick brick walls of Saint Josephs Catholic Church were no match for the tornado that touched down in Ridgway, Illlinois. It's a community made up of less than 1,000, where the church has been an anchor since the late 1800s.

In a matter of minutes, 200 mile per hour winds leveled the church and heavily damaged a rectory next door.

Perhaps miraculously, despite everything destroyed, the church's front doors and a marble alter shipped from Italy were never touched.

Understandably, the doors to the church are closed, but church services including Sunday mass will go on as scheduled, however it will take place at another one of the churches in the parish.



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