Recently restored church toppled

Nicolas Galindo By Nicolas Galindo

Sept. 4, 2017 at 6:24 p.m.
Updated Sept. 5, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.

 The Infant Jesus of Prague Catholic Church, recently restored, lies in a wrecked state in McFaddin after Hurricane Harvey pounded the Crossroads.

The Infant Jesus of Prague Catholic Church, recently restored, lies in a wrecked state in McFaddin after Hurricane Harvey pounded the Crossroads.   Nicolas Galindo for The Victoria Advocate

After seeing the Infant Jesus of Prague Catholic Church in McFaddin, Gilbert Ramon was heartbroken.

Ramon, 46, grew up in McFaddin but lives in Decatur. He heard about the church being destroyed from a friend who sent him a text message.

He came down shortly after Hurricane Harvey passed to check on family members who still live in Victoria and had to stop to see the church for himself. He also brought his father, who is now 94 and was baptized in the church.

"He was pretty upset," Ramon said about his father.

Despite the damage to the church, the town of McFaddin is relatively unscathed, resident David Schulte, 58, said.

"Most of the houses out here have water damage from either shingles blowing off or just leaking," Schulte said. "We have a lot of trees down but not that many on houses."

The biggest concern with residents has been with the mosquito population, which has flourished in the wake of the storm and flooding from Hurricane Harvey. However, the county is starting mosquito control programs.

While power companies were out reconnecting lines through the onslaught of pests, the tentative date to have the town fully restored is as late as Friday, Sept. 8, Schulte said.

Despite the delays in getting services back, the community of McFaddin has come together to make sure no one is left out.

"Everybody out here kind of takes care of each other," Schulte said. "We're not going to let anybody go hungry or thirsty or not have shelter."

There's still a lot of cleanup to be done in the community, including fixing the old church, which was moved off its foundation by about 25 feet. The entryway steeple fell off the front.

Out of all the damage in the community - from the grain silos with ruined grain to the homes with leaky roofs - the church is the worst damaged, Schulte said.

Hurricane Claudette badly damaged the church in 2003, and it closed later that year. The church was renovated and reopened in July 2015.

After Harvey, the fate of the church is unknown. Catholic church officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday.


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