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As the tornado ripped through Cullman, it destroyed several churches. The abbey was spared. So was the nearby Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

Miss May described the joy she felt when she realized her church was still standing.

“As we turned the corner to visit the abbey, the first thing we see is the two gold crosses on top of Sacred Heart. We were relieved that our church was untouched.”

“Some people are saying that God protected us,”she said. “God is God, no matter what religion you are …but you can drive around this site and see no damage here.”

Brother Weidner says he is glad the abbey grounds and grotto are serving as places of peace.

“We have a lot to offer,” he said. “It is important for people to know there is hope.”