HUBBARD, Ohio (WKBN) – After catching fire earlier this year, Saint Patrick’s Church in Hubbard has had to hold mass in its parish center.
The parish has been a part of Hubbard for over 150 years. But this year, the congregation will be celebrating Easter at Hubbard High School.
The Ohio State Fire Marshal determined that the fire in January started in a basement conference room.
People in the community were shocked, and many came out to watch the firefighters put out the blaze. Many expressed that they were heartbroken to see the building on fire.
Heat and soot damage caused the marble floor of the sanctuary to crumble. Steel beams were bent and twisted by the fire.
One spot of hope was that on the night of the fire, crews were able to save the church’s Tabernacle. Father Michael Sweirz said it’s a sight he would never forget.
But since the fire, the church has been closed to worship services.
For their Easter service, hundreds showed up for the traditional yet unconventional service at the Hubbard High School auditorium.
Saint Patrick’s has been holding in-person services for months now, but the place where they have been holding service wasn’t big enough to accommodate everyone for Easter.
“We’ve been having our services in our parish center, which looks like a church there at Saint Patrick’s, but because of the larger crowds for Easter, we decided to take up the invitation to come to Hubbard High School,” said Father Swierz.
Parishioners say they are happy to get out to celebrate.
“It’s a celebration of life. It’s a new beginning, especially Easter time I always reflect on that because it’s a new beginning,” said Tony Ball, who’s been a parishioner at the church for 66 years.
Workers will take this week off from fixing the church but will be continuing again next week.
The damage is estimated to cost $4 million to fix. The church is accepting donations to help pay for the repairs.
Unfortunately, the final cause of the fire is undetermined. Unless new information comes to light, the investigation is closed.