Texas priest, community find new way to bring comfort amid coronavirus outbreak

Texas priest Clint Ressler has been riding his bike through a Houston suburb, praying with parishioners on their porches since the coronavirus forced churches to close, but as the July heat slows down his house calls, he’s found a new way to bring comfort and purpose to his community, according to a report.

Father Ressler, head pastor at St. Mary of the Miraculous Medal in Texas City, has prayed with more than 500 families via his bike. But as temperatures soar into the triple digits, he and a group of neighborhood volunteers are supplying food, clothing and other needs to 100 families every weekend, KHOU-TV in Houston reported.

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“People are feeling uplifted by hearing the positive story, and they want to know that good people are doing good things,” Ressler told the station. “And they want to be those good people. So to the extent that we can give them an opportunity to be a part of that, and not just feel powerless sitting at home, then I think we start to see how the body of Christ comes alive.”

Donations to the St. Vincent DePaul food pantry are also provided largely by neighbors, KHOU reported.

“Maybe just because I’ve seen God work in so many ways, I have to believe,” he added. “I readily believe that he is at work in all of us and we will probably only see it when we look back. When we come through our own 40 days in the desert, or whatever image that you want to talk about, that we will see that God was at work through us. Not just in some miraculous way, but through us.”

Despite the heat, Ressler is still reaching parishioners on his 10-speed. He just has a smaller window between cool enough temperatures and darkness but he told KHOU he visits between one and three families every day.

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“That was their access point to God, going to church on Sunday,” he told the station in April. “So it is giving us an opportunity to maybe try to find God in new ways.”