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Monsoon storm blows out massive stained glass structure in Tucson parish

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 7:28 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - More damage across southern Arizona as another powerful storm brings much needed rain, but unwanted blows.

The damage at St. Joseph’s Catholic Parish on Wednesday, July 21 was a sore sight for Rev. Robert Rodriguez’s eyes. Shattered glass blanketed his parish floor. A nearly 50-foot tall stained glass window, put in during the 1960s, left in millions of pieces after a storm hit the night before.

“I couldn’t believe it. It’s just unbelievable this damage that has happened,” said Rodriguez.

Across the campus, Carlos Aldana, whose kids go to the parish school, helped clear a giant uprooted tree Wednesday. He and other parents, neighbors and parishioners jumped into action to clear as much as they could.

“We’re just part of the community and whatever we can do to help,” said Aldana. “This is a wealthy community in the sense that the people that are here.”

Aldana said his mom was in the parish when the stained glass fell.

“She was just terrified,” he said. “All of a sudden the windows just smashed, and all of a sudden the structure just came down.”

Other damage along the property adds up to an unknown cost. Fortunately, no one was hurt during the storm, as a group of about 30 people were inside the parish when the stained glass fell. Mass has been canceled for the next three days while they asses the rest of the water and structural damage.

“Structure can be replaced, but of course life cannot,” said Rodriguez.

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