HISTORIC CHURCH DAMAGED IN FIRE
I have attended St. Mary's since I was a child, as well as my family. My grandmother is 92 years old and still attends mass there regularly.There are many people in the community trying to pull together and help donate
for the restorations.
The church remains closed during the renovation causing people that are due to be married, baptized, funerals and masses to find an alternate location for their events, and for masses to be held offsite.
Here is the story from our local newspaper:
A local community saddened by a blaze that destroyed a chapel in a historic downtown church and threatened the remainder of the 139-year-old church onTuesday.
While a national shrine housed in St. Mary Catholic Church was ruined in the afternoon fire, work began almost immediately to clean and repair the church itself. Crews from Rapid Response Restoration were cleaning the building, and church officials and workers were hopeful the church could be quickly restored. Massillon firefighters were called to the church at 206 Cherry Road NE shortly after noon for a report of smoke coming from the attic.
When crews arrived they found heavy smoke billowing from the east steeple of the church. Black smoke poured from the eaves on all sides.
St. Mary’s fire restoration needs many charitable contributions. We as parishioners are trying to raise at least $100,000.00 for the insurance policies deductible in order to get started on the restoration of the main part of the church, and the rebuilding of the destroyed sections. Anybody who has ever had insurance claim knows that the insurance never covers everything. Immediately, the priest vestments had to be cleaned at the cost of 15,000.00, so they could continue worship, and perform masses at temporary church site. The Oriental rug at the front of the alter had water, smoke and soot in it so it had to be cleaned immediately, at a cost of $1,000.00 in order to save it. The insurance company took 8 weeks to finally give permission to move forward with contractor estimates. Our pastor is now facing, with two separate insurance companies, two issues, restoration and the rebuilding, and that there are the issues of replacement items burned to a crisp. We as parishioners are anxious to get the immediate restoration of the main body of the church started so we can get back to worship in this house of god.
Historical St. Mary’s Church, Massillon Ohio, was the victim of a suspicious fire that destroyed the south side/front door entrance and lobby of the church, which housed the parish baptismal/baptistery, and the national St. Dympha’s Shrine as well as restrooms, steps to the choir loft. The fire reached 2500 degrees in temperature and sent black soot throughout the whole church. Every wall, stained glass windows, 180 pews, marble floors and all white alabaster holy statues and alter are coated with his carbon black like soot. Almost every time in the church has absorbed the smoky smell. The historical million dollar pipe organ has smoke in each pipe. Each pipe can be removed and cleaned at the estimated price of $100,000.00
Every wall and ceiling needs to be washed down with soot removal detergent before repainting can begin. The estimates for this labor intensive work have not been determined yet. All the light fixtures need to be hand washed, light bulbs replaced and wiring checked too. The last time the church was repainted in the 90’s inside the cost was 300,000.00, so rough estimated will be about 450,000. The stained glass windows will have to be hand washed with a special window solvent. The hanging sound system melted, and the list of items goes on and on like pew pads, kneelers, hymnals, etc so many more miscellaneous items. One historical wooded 6 foot tall hand carved candle holder in St. Dymphas Shrine area and the tall baptismal candle stand and the baptismal font are all destroyed and gone as well as, the stained glass window, and the fire raged charcoaling the statue of St. Dympha.
Please review the pictures that were taken and help us bring St. Mary’s church back for worship for our community
St Marys Church needs $ 100,000 ,000 to finish all the work needed to be done on the church and shrine . Please help us
please all share with everybody so this can reach many former members who live in other states. I remember how beautiful the church looked with Nativity and poinsetta and lighted pine trees.This is a Christmas that a gift donation can keep on giving!