Father Arturo Quezada says on Tuesday he was working in his office at our Lady of Soledad Catholic Church in Coachella when suddenly he started receiving messages from his family in Mexico City, "So I knew something difficult was happening in Mexico."
His family was texting him to tell him they had just been through a strong earthquake, "They were fine thank God," he says adding he then immediately turned on the T.V. to watch the news. While he suspected it was bad, his heart sank when as he watched buildings crumble and people running in fear.
He says in that moment he did what any person of faith would do, "The automatic reaction is pray."
Because Quezada and many of his parishioners are from Mexico he says the tragedy hits home, "We feel deeply connected with their pain, with their sorrow of those people who lost houses, family members … or they don’t have peace."
These parishioners, some with family in the quake zone attended morning mass and prayed for Mexico.
"Pray for them that they find the strength you know to reconstruct their lives," says Regina Heredia from La Quinta.
But they’re not just praying here at Our Lady of Soledad, Father Quezada also called priests in Mexico to organize help, a welcome call.
"They were happy, they felt supported, they felt that somebody else … was caring," says Father Quezada.
Their hearts are with the people of Mexico.
"Don’t lose hope," he says.
The group of parishioners shouts, "Fuerza Mexico!"
If you want to donate to the fund set up by Father Quezada that will be sent to help earthquake victims in Mexico call: (760) 398-5577.