ST. CLOUD -- It has been over a year since a devastating fire destroyed St. Mary's Church in Melrose and now the community is left searching for answers.

In response to several months of discussion the church community will be gathering on the steps of St. Mary's Cathedral in St. Cloud Saturday night to fight for a full restoration of the Melrose church. The protest will begin around 7:15 p.m. Spokesperson for the assembly, Joe Finken says restoring the church and preserving its history is important to the group.

"The big thing is the people feel like from the beginning that they were never heard. We've had three meetings and the people overwhelmingly stated what they wanted to see. The overwhelming majority wanted the church restored, they wanted to keep the beauty and the history of our church."

The Diocese Building Commission for St. Mary's has been leading the project. The commission has been discussing the possibility of a full restoration of the church with Bishop Donald Kettler.

In a letter to the commission, Kettler says one of his main concerns about the restoration of the church is that it must serve current and future needs of parishioners. Kettler says future generations and youth must be considered in the planning process.


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