Our team had a fabulous time spending most of last week in Joplin, MO. We visited McAuley Catholic High School, the college students of Missouri State Southern University, and St. Peter the Apostle Parish.
In 2011, Joplin was the site of the deadliest tornado to strike in the United States since 1947. The “strikezone” is surreal, like Oz. Denuded of trees but sprouting back homes and businesses, it’s a heartbreaking and heartening landscape of Lent and Easter, dying and rising. So many people who captured our hearts crawled out of closets and corridors, bathtubs and basements to tell stories of extraordinary love and service. Their losses did not embitter them, but have them more grateful and compassionate than ever.
Our time in Joplin will be treasured in our hearts… We are so thankful to Fr. J and Sr. Diane for inviting us, and even as we were leaving we were already hoping for a return visit. Thanks to all of our new friends in Joplin for an amazing week!