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Madill Catholic church reflects on EF2 tornado one year later

A Madill Priest is reflecting back on the EF2 tornado that took two lives and destroyed his...
A Madill Priest is reflecting back on the EF2 tornado that took two lives and destroyed his church and home, one year ago.(kxii)
Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 10:09 PM CDT
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MADILL, Okla. (KXII) - A Madill priest is reflecting back on the EF2 tornado that took two lives and destroyed his church and home, one year ago.

“It’s a scary moment, but we live in Oklahoma so I think we’re used to it,” said Father Oby Zunmas with the Madill Holy Cross Catholic Church,” said Zunmas.

Father Oby was on track to celebrate one year of his new church being built in Madill last year. But church members wouldn’t reach that landmark.

A deadly EF2 tornado ripped through town April 22.

Father Oby was in his house on the church’s property moments before it destroyed the church and his home.

“I decided to get into my safe room and less than 30 seconds later, it hit the house,” said Zunmas.

Father Oby said his church family added a safe room six months before the tornado hit Madill.

He said that decision provided the refuge, strength and safety that allowed him to walk away from the storm that killed two people.

“I thank god and I pray for the two people who lost their lives, because I was very fortunate,” said Zunmas.

Father Oby said the church wasn’t a small project, and it took him two years to raise funds.

Parishioner John Ganster said the church mainly took damage outside and on the roof.

“A lot of things inside were not damaged as we thought they would be, but the windows were broken and glass was everywhere,” said Ganster.

The damage to the church has been repaired and Father Oby’s rectory is set to be finished by Christmas.

The Holy Cross has since returned to 100% attendance for mass.

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