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HOUSTON STORM: Deer Park Church is holding mass for the first time since it was hit by a hurricane Tuesday

Deer Park, Texas (KTRK) – Communities in Deer Park are still rebuilding after an EF3 tornado ripped through the area on Tuesday. Recovery has been difficult, but some residents said their faith helped them move forward through this difficult time.

For the first time in five days, the parishioners of the Saint Hyacinth Catholic Church They were able to gather in person for Sunday morning mass. The campus has sustained significant damage, and crews are working to clear the rubble.

“Coming here today is the first day I’ve ever seen our little church. I’ve been a member here for 40 years. I cried seeing it,” said Cynthia Hendricks, a parishioner.

Father Reginald Samuels ABC13 showed the serious damage his church has been through. He said his staff were here at the church and huddled together in the auditorium when the tornado hit. The catechism building collapsed and the church lost parts of its roof.

“It was complete chaos for everyone. No electricity, no electricity, no water. The entire Deer Park community has been affected by this,” Samuels said. “Our operations here in the church have come to a complete halt. We don’t have phone systems or computer systems here in this parish. It all ended with the hurricane.”

RELATED: St. Hyacinth’s Catholic Church in Deer Park is resuming mass service after the hurricane

Community members expressed that Sunday Mass was a place to heal together after tremendous loss and tragedy.

“Mentally speaking, it’s hard to see the community I was born and raised in kind of being shattered. I think today’s mass will help solidify the strong bonds that Deer Park has with their community and for each other,” said Catri Meza, a parishioner.

“We couldn’t wait to come to Mass at St. Hyacinth’s. We are so blessed that we were still able to attend and that our church is still standing. I’m on the verge of tears right now. It just means everything to know that God protected us and watched over us through this hurricane” .

Related: Post-Hurricane Recovery: Pasadena, Deer Park to conduct free meal service for the homeless

Services will continue to be limited due to the extent of the damage and limited toilet facilities. Father Samuel said that they would take it day by day and rejoice in what they still had.

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