Wednesday’s tornado changed so much for so many.

It literally ripped apart the lives and homes of several communities.

A view from Wendover Road toward Roosevelt Avenue

Parishioners at Holy Cross Parish in Springfield gathered in prayer at weekend Masses and were reminded that God does not punish people or spare others. “God loves all of us the same,” said Father Dan Lanahan, who celebrated Mass at Holy Cross.  (The newly-named pastor, Father Tony Cullen, is visitng family in Wales, United Kingdom). Father Dan and Sister Cindy Matthews, pastoral minister at Holy Cross, walked the streets of the East Forest Park neighbohood which was hit hard. Parishioners were asked to share their needs and for others to share what they could with those in need. The parish also hosted a city meeting for those who were suffering the effects of the tornado. And the parish also hosted city-run meals over the weekend for those in need.

The hum of chain saws filled the background of the afternoon Mass as the clean-up continued.

Many drove, cycled or walked around the neighborhood where the tornado ripped venerable trees.

A lot of people gathered at Cathedral High School where alumni, teachers and neighbors stared in disbelief at the destruction.

Cathedral Science Wing

 The newly-renovated St. Michael’s Academy suffered much as well.

St. Michael’s Residence and the St. Michael’s Academy Pre-school also sustained significant damage. The priests in residence were relocated to Holy Cross rectory for a few days but most have moved to a more permanent place, according to announcements made at Holy Cross Church.

Most residents expressed a disbelief that a tornado had touched down in Springfield. The path was random as some homes remained untouched while others were damaged terribly.

Students at Cathedral will attend classes at the Elms College and students at St. Michael’s Academy will attend Western New England University.

Guards monitored the building all day and all night.