MELROSE -- The parishioners of St. Mary's in Melrose have a new church after going four years without one.

The parish built a new $10.6-million church after their former 121-year-old church was destroyed in a fire in 2016 and could not be restored.

Kurt Schwieters is the Chair of the Communications Committee for St. Mary's. He says it was an emotional day holding their first service in their new space.

Over the last four years I've been a part of almost every discussion. I've had a mental image of what this would look like and I've seen pictures and computer designs. Being in this space is more awesome and gives me a better feeling than I could ever imagine.

The new church includes updated technology, ADA accessibility, and can hold over 800 people.

Schwieters says when they were designing the new church it was important to incorporate several original pieces from the old church such as the tabernacle, stain glass windows, rose window and bells.

It was a very long process that would continuously change on what pieces would be used and why and how it could be brought into this space in a thoughtful way.

He says there are also plans to build a daily mass chapel, larger administration space, fellowship hall and rectory in the future.

Schweiters says he knows watching the old church come down has been a painful process for many parishioners, but hopes this new space will be a beacon to call them back to the church.

The old 121-year-old church was demolished back in May.

New St. Mary's Church

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