Last month, about 45 attendees including children and toddlers met in the parish hall at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in the small town of Emory, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. They were there to honor high school graduates, when suddenly they learned a tornado was heading toward the church. Everyone gathered into the hallway connecting the hall and the church, and 30 seconds later, the tornado destroyed the outside of the building.


Everyone made sure to keep each other safe as they knelt in the hall, praying while struggling to keep the hallway doors shut against the wind. "We could see the beams bending and the aluminum roof being ripped away, said youth pastor Monica Hughes, adding that "everyone was perfectly calm and felt like it was going to be okay. As soon as the worst was over, we began to sing to keep the kids calm." Peyton Low, director of public affairs for the Diocese of Tyler, said the tornado was a direct hit. He said "people are using the word miraculous to describe what happened." No one was hurt.