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Church Destroyed by Fire Rises from Ashes

Posted at 1:02 PM, May 29, 2013

KENTWOOD, Mich.– St. Mary Magdalen Church is proving it can rise from the ashes and rebuild a new church. A massive fire destroyed the sanctuary last July 3. Investigators ruled it accidental, believing it was caused by stray fireworks. No one was ever charged.

Parishioners gathered in the church’s parking lot for the groundbreaking and quick prayer service.

“I thought I want to be part of our prayerful community here and see everyone altogether,” said parishioner, Kathi Hagen. “The church has just pulled together and its been fabulous.”

“We are now shifting gears from mourning into joy,” added Father Godfrey Onyekwere. “It was really a sad day and sad weeks following [the fire.] But now, we kind of see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

The groundbreaking is one of the last things Bishop Walter Hurley will attend as he nears retirement in the coming week. He said a few words and blessed the ground the new church will be built on.

“This is a special moment and one thing I am happy to be part of,” said Bishop Hurley.

The majority of the money to help build the new $7.7 million church will come from insurance. Parishioners will have to raise a little over $1.5 million on their own.

St. Mary Magdalen Church hopes to hold their first mass inside the new sanctuary in Spring of 2014.

If you would like to help donate to the funding, you can do so by way of St. Mary Magdalen Church.