Sunday, October 31, 2010

Final Mass at St. Peter's Church in Duluth

Duluth's Catholic community said goodbye to St. Peter's Church Sunday. The congregation held their last mass Sunday morning after more than one hundred years of services.

The church bells rang 105 times for each of the 105 years St. Peter's has existed.

"It's sad. Sad that it's happening, but the building is getting pretty dilapidated but its hard to see it go," said Lee Fawcett, who has attended St. Peter's nearly all his life.

Lee Fawcett's history with St. Peter's goes way back, like many who attended the final service. For most St. Peter's is the church they were baptized at or married in.

"Its very hard on everyone filled with stories and nostalgia but its what st. Peter's needed to do," said Father John Petrich, who has presided over the congregation for just eight weeks.

For the last ten years, St. Peter's has been in desperate need of renovations. Father Petrich said the cold and snow of Duluth winters have taken its toll on the walls and the ceiling that are now crumbling.

"Maybe ten years ago if we patched and fixed we wouldn't be here today," said Father Petrich. "But it was getting worse and worse the water comes in one place and pops out in a different place."

The necessary repairs would cost nearly $500,000. Father Petrich said that's just more than the congregation of 50 could afford.

"Can it be saved? With a whole lot of money and it would be more money than the congregation at st. Peter's could even dream of," said Father Petrich.

Next Sunday the congregation will go their separate ways heading to mass at another church, but for those who loved St. Peters, church without it will be changed forever.

"Nope never be the same..never be the same," said Michelle Weegman, who was married at St. Peter's.

The Diocese of Duluth isn't going to close the church altogether just yet, only suspend operations. Next year the community will decide whether or not to close the church altogether. WDIO-TV

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