MELROSE – St. Mary’s parishioners in Melrose have a new church after four years without one.
The parish built a new $ 10.6 million church after their 121-year-old old church was destroyed in a fire in 2016 and could not be restored.
Kurt schwieters is the chair of the St. Mary’s Communications Committee. He says it was an emotional day for holding their first service in their new space.
Over the past four years, I have participated in almost every discussion. I had a mental picture of what it would look like and saw computer images and designs. Being in this space is more awesome and gives me a better feeling than I could ever imagine.
The new church includes updated technology, ADA accessibility and can accommodate over 800 people.
Schwieters says that when designing the new church it was important to incorporate several original pieces from the old church such as the tabernacle, stained glass windows, rose window, and bells.
It was a very long process that continually changed on which pieces would be used and why and how they might be brought into that space in a thoughtful way.
He says there are also plans to build a daily mass chapel, a larger administrative space, a communion hall and a rectory in the future.
Schweiters says he knows watching the old church crumble was a painful process for many parishioners, but hopes this new space will be a beacon to remind them of the church.
The 121-year-old old church was demolished in May.