Queens Church Moving Forward After Devastating Fire

Tags: Currents, Brooklyn, NY, Faith, Inspiration, Queens, NY

By Emily Drooby

Parishioners of St. Pius X did what they always do Sunday morning, attend church. However, this week something was very different, they couldn’t use their church.

Exactly one week ago the house of worship went up in flames. Video taken inside the church just one day after the blaze shows the devastation, twisted windows, burnt books, melted candles.

The Pastor, Father Jean-Miguel Auguste says, almost everything was destroyed.

He explained, “The books, the tabernacle, everything, we keep everything in the Sacristy.”

It could be weeks before they know if the building can be saved or if it has to be rebuilt but nearly everything inside the church was reduced to ashes.

Despite the devastation, the people of St. Pius X are determined their faith community will live on. To ensure that happened, they moved their weekend masses to the school across the street and borrowed essential items needed for celebrating mass, like a chalice, from other local parishes.

“We’re determined to stay together,” said Kathleen McCabe, a member of the church’s Parish Council. McCabe proud to see her church coming together to overcome what happened.

She said, “I think it shows that it doesn’t matter what the building is that you’re attending, it’s the heart of the community, the people. What we always say is, ‘God is the Church, is the people’ and it just proves that we have always been that.”

Many of the St. Pius X faithful were worried the fire would prevent people from celebrating their faith, but it didn’t. Mass was attended by many, a site which inspired parishioner Fiano Jackman.

Jackman explained,”It proves to me that God is there. God is with us because people are coming out so it shows that they have their faith and we all believe and we are holding strong, we are taking our strength from him.”

The determination of the parish proving that church is so much more than just a building.