Augustinians in Ojai Minister Among the Flames
The recent fires which have devastated various parts of Southern California have especially hit hard in the Ojai valley. It is in Ojai where the Augustininians have servved for many decades at both St. Thomas Aquinas Parish and Villanova Prep school. Br. Michael Bube, OSA provided this update on how the friars were serving amidst the disaster, "I am with the kids at the hotel [Villanova Prep is a boarding school with international students]... Fr. Fernando decided to stay at the parish because many of the Hispanic parishioners are spending the night in the parish parking lot. Fr. Bill Ryan is staying as well... There is a fire on the hillside in Matilija that can be seen from the church. The high school next door to the church is still being used as an evacuation center so they are probably safe from evacuation."
St. Thomas Aquinas Parish posted this prayer on their Facebook page: "Please invade heaven with your prayers for us here in Ventura County, that the Lord our God will help quench this horrific fire and keep everyone safe especially our firefighters and first responders. Lord Jesus hear us! St. Florian , patron saint of firefighters pray for us!"