HARRISVILLE, W.Va. (WTAP) – Christ Our Hope – a Catholic church in Harrisville – burned down this weekend.
WTAP stopped at the scene to see the damage.
What was once a social hall, where the congregation met after Sunday mass, is now a room burned to black, debris cluttering the floor, pieces of the ceiling collapsed.
The church caught fire early Saturday morning, burning through the attic roof and then consuming the church. It was a total loss.
The priest, Shinto Mathew, described the scene as “beyond his imagination”.
“It was terrible. The flames are going up… we can’t see anything and even up to this store it was foggy and everything was like darkness everywhere…” he said.
And now, with the church in total loss, those who are affiliated with the congregation are getting what’s left.
Angie Moretto, who is affiliated with the church, said: “Of course we have records which are vital documents for our church and we were surprised to find some of the filing cabinets not destroyed by fire or water, so we’re trying to come back to get all the records we could get.
The future of this congregation is uncertain. For now, however, the congregation will worship at St. Joseph’s Chapel in Pennsboro. Other projects will be discussed at a future meeting.
According to Mathew, there is still hope in the rubble.
“We, the faithful, even though it is a total loss and the loss of a church, as you all know, is heartbreaking news for all our parishioners and therefore we do not lose hope but we trust our Lord and we look forward to what can be done in the future.
In the midst of all this destruction, this congregation remains defined by its faith and hope.
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