The flame of faith that still burns despite the rubble

Lindsay Steele
Crews from D.W Zinser Company remove debris from the site of the former The Davenport apartment building in downtown Davenport on June 21. St. Anthony Parish is located across the street.

By Fr. Rudolph Juarez
Guest Column

Fr. Juarez

The Davenport, an apartment building, collapsed across the street from St. Anthony Parish on May 28 and we are now witnessing its demolition. We have had to adapt to changes in our normal routine. But, thankfully, our parishioners have been coming to Mass even though parking is at a premium.

The important thing is the outpouring of goodwill from parishioners and members of the general public. How fortunate that on that Pentecost Sunday we were able to open our doors to some of the tenants until they could find temporary shelter. I know of one parishioner who has been displaced and will have to find a different home.

As I looked at the rubble of The Davenport, it reminded me of Ukraine and some of the bombed buildings left in ruins and what many European cities looked like after the bombings of WWII. It also reminded me of the Iowa City tornado of 2006 when we found the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus without arms in the rubble of the church and the vigil candle near the tabernacle still burning after the tornado had come through.


Now, in 2023, we have been helping folks who have been displaced and continue the good work of the McAnthony Window and our food and clothing pantry. It is proof to me that when misfortune strikes, you and I must be the arms and hands of Jesus to reach out and help those in need. Just like the sanctuary candle that kept burning in the rubble of St. Patrick Church during and after the Iowa City tornado of 2006, in downtown Davenport in 2023 you and I must keep the flame of faith alive in our hearts by the good that we do for those in need.

On June 16 we celebrated the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. May the words of the litany to the Sacred Heart of Jesus be true of us: “Jesus meek and humble of heart. Make our hearts like unto Thine.” God with us!

(Father Rudolph Juarez is pastor of St. Anthony Parish in Davenport.)

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