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Queens Chronicle

Making do, planning for future at St. Pius

Parishioners at Rosedale church to talk fundraising, rebuilding this week

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Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2019 10:30 am

The fire that severely damaged their church building on June 16 has not stopped the parishioners at St. Pius X in Rosedale.

The only people entering the church this week were restoration workers clad in hardhats, hazardous material suits and breathing masks. In an email to the Chronicle, a spokesman for the Diocese of Brooklyn said members of the congregation have, for instance, been attending daily weekday Masses in the basement of the rectory. Sunday Masses are being offered in the cafeteria of the adjacent school.

“Last weekend, at least 1,000 parishioners attended five masses held in the school cafeteria,” he wrote. “... The parish will hold a community meeting this week to discuss its next steps, including fundraising and rebuilding efforts.”

An investigation by the FDNY determined the fire to have been accidental, caused by electrical wiring in the area of the church’s altar. A spokeswoman for the diocese said in an email that it has not been determined if the structure can be saved.

From the street, the front entrance looks almost undisturbed with the exception of a charred pew moved outside and remnants of yellow tape still tied to and hanging from the metal front fence.

Most of the church’s exterior looked to be intact, though the eastern end was covered by a tarp and the condition of the roof could not be seen from the sidewalk or parking lot.

The lingering smell of burned wood was still heavy in the air from a distance as of Tuesday morning.

“Almost everything in the church sacristy and sanctuary was destroyed — the altar, the amble, the books, the tabernacle, everything,” the diocesan spokesman wrote.

He said other parishes within the Diocese of Brooklyn have been contributing necessary items and materials for St. Pius’ use, including clergy vestments, hosts and sacramental wine.

Welcome to the discussion.