BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Buffalo's Catholic diocese says one of its churches on Broadway is falling apart and is too dangerous to worship in right now.
Outside St. Ann's Catholic Church in Buffalo, a padlock keeps parishioners from entering a side entrance that's in need of repairs.
But soon, a padlock could keep parishioners out altogether.
At Sunday morning mass, Father Roy Herberger had to deliver a message sent to him by Bishop Edward Kmiec:
"I find it necessary to suspend all activities at St. Ann's Church effective April 30th," read the message.
A look of disbelief could be seen on the faces of many parishioners who had no idea what was coming. The news was especially hard for some who are 3rd, 4th or in some cases 5th generation members of the church.
The church as it now stands was built in 1878. Although a beautiful church, there's plenty of work that needs to be done. Recently the east tower of the church had to be closed for repairs. An estimate in Bishop Kmiec's letter stated fixing the needs of the church would cost upwards of $7 million.
Fr. Herberger received the letter only a few days ago.
"I'm not questioning necessarily the what needs to be done, but how it was done. How do you then say to people thanks for coming today, but you can't come back anymore? We should of at least been given maybe a month or so just to be able to plan a special mass, give respect to the people, not be so heart less, not be so insensitive," says Fr. Herberger.
Church members say they will fight to keep the church open.
"It's an amazing group of people, very highly motivated and we'd like to stay. We'd like to preserve the building, we'd like to preserve the heritage and see where things go from there," says Martin Ederer.
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