Parishioners bid farewell to St. Jude Church - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Parishioners bid farewell to St. Jude Church

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

On Sunday, Parishioners bid farewell to their soon-to-be replaced church.

The structure on Main St. in Indian Orchard was severely damaged by a microburst in July 2011. Its been closed since September of that year.

Our Lady of Sacred Heart Parish, including its St. Jude Mission Church, will now rebuild.

"I'm not crazy about being here today for this reason but the church has to come down so we can rebuild," said Ed Sabourin.

Ed Sabourin came to the church more than 20 years ago.

"I have been active in it every since...this is my church," Sabourin said. 

Rows of folded chairs are set up on the lawn outside of the building with boarded windows and a damaged two-tiered roof.

"I got married in this church actually and it's a very emotional day for me and many of us here," said Francisco Rosario.

The church has been unsafe for public occupancy since the 2011 microburst.

"You can't see it from the outside but if you go into the attic you can see beams that hold up the whole roof structure are out of alignment sometimes as much of a foot and with one heavy rain or snow storm we risk the whole roof and building crushing down," said Bill Pomerleau, Pastor of St. Jude Mission Church.

After negotiations with the insurance carrier, a decision was made to not allow for the restoration of the damaged building that was built in 1873.

The new and smaller church will be build at 221 Main St.

"Energy efficient, multifunctional, removable seating so we can have meetings as well as events there," said Pomerleau.

It will be a ground level, 5,000 square ft. church that will seat up to 250 people.

"People are very happy this will re-open again," said Pomerleau.

Groundbreaking for the construction is expected to begin this fall.

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