$3 million in repairs forces Kensington church to close
KENSINGTON - September 30, 2012 (WPVI) -- Due to $3 million needed for repairs, after more than a century, Ascension of Our Lord Parish in Kensington is forced to close.
There were a lot of hugs and a few tears, as parishioners arrived for the church's final mass on Sunday.
"It's the end of my life. I've been here 85 years; baptized here, everything happened here. I'm still a parishioner here, it's the only church I've ever belonged to," said Martha Wodarczyk.
Mass was held in the school building, as the once soaring church next door has become so rundown, it's unsafe.
The parish was founded in 1899 and the church completed in 1914 but in recent decades, roof and water damage led to a need for $3 million in repairs.
Average weekly mass attendance has dropped to less than 200 and the cash-strapped Archdiocese made the decision to close the church's doors.
For generations of Kensington families, the grand building, with both an upper and lower sanctuary, was the place for lifecycle events.
Rose Ryan's family joined the parish when she was five.
"Next month my 11-year-old was supposed to have his confirmation and now we have to find another parish," said Ryan.
For some it was more than just the memories but the beauty of the building itself.
"I was just telling my son that the church is absolutely beautiful. As a kid you look up and see all the paintings and its like Michelangelo lived there and built that church inside," said Jack Thackrah.
Parishioners have a choice of joining Holy Innocents or Visitation BVM parish. Meanwhile the future of the buildings have not yet been determined.
philadelphia, kensington, philadelphia archdiocese, local/state, amy buckman
- Multi-vehicle crash closes EB Pa. Turnpike
- Temps Soar
- Get the 6abc StormTracker app
- 2013 Troop Greetings
- Volleyball coach accused sex with student 9 min ago
- 2 men sought in Deptford Twp. hotel robbery
- Quick moving blaze damages house in West Philly
- Car plunges into lake in Vineland, victims ID'd
- Security breach affected all cards, not just Target's
- Philippine mayor among 4 killed at Manila airport
- Over 75 injured in partial London theater collapse
- Is heroin addiction as close as your medicine cabinet?
- Photos: Pictures of the Pa. Turnpike crash
- Woman's secret Santa turns out to be Bill Gates 48 min ago
- Temps Soar