St. Mary's Ukrainian Catholic Church holds first Sunday service since fire

Posted: Updated:
CARTERET -

Members of a Carteret church that was destroyed by a fire Tuesday are vowing to repair their sanctuary.

Parishioners from St. Mary's Ukrainian Catholic Church gathered at their temporary home, the Ukrainian Citizens Club, for the first Sunday worship service since their church home was destroyed.

The church's pastor told news outlets he and his family were inside the parish rectory when they smelled smoke. When they rushed to their window, they said they could see flames coming from the side of the church.

More than 70 firefighters came to the scene to battle the blaze. Authorities say the fire may have been burning for some time before it was discovered and that only exacerbated the damage. The pews, dais and stained glass windows were destroyed in the fire.

The bishop for this parish said in a statement, "They lost everything, vestments, prayer books, icons, chalices, everything except their faith!" 

That faith and fellowship is more important than ever to a congregation that was already dwindling in size before this fire.

Donations can be sent to St. Mary's Ukrainian Catholic Church building fund or to the nonprofit Charity Trust Fund.

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