St. Mary's Has Hope

Msgr. Calvin Stalter
Msgr. Calvin Stalter

For more than twenty years, members of St. Mary's Catholic Church worshiped in their sanctuary, but today, mass was different.

Almost a week after the church burned, members met in the gym to for services.

NewsChannel 10's Felicia Lafuente attended the emotional mass and brings us reaction from church members.

The gym was filled with emotions...

Tears, laughter, gratitude...

Since this was the first sunday mass held outside the church.

"The service was absolutely beautiful and we all united as a family and we're going to come back, we're going to rebuild this church," says Lusia Marchbanks, a church member and teacher at St. Mary's.

Hundreds of members filled the gym to worship.

It took almost the whole week to prepare for mass.

"The cleaning was hard and just to see what we had to pull out of the church that was salvaged was very hard and then to come together and clean but everyone was so grateful that we could get it together for today," says Maria Renteira, a church member.

The gym floor had to be taken out since it was damaged by water.

More than five hundred chairs were set up on the concrete floor.

Despite the changes, members were happy to be with one another, especially after dealing with their tragedy.

"It's a little cold but we managed," says Marchbanks.

"It's a wonderful feeling. Just so many people have come and offered suggestions and help and we appreciate it,"says Mont Senior Calvin Stalter.

"It seems so beautiful and everybody is happy that we are together," says Renteira.

the church plans to re-build soon.

Officials estimate the loss of damage to be in the millions.

As for a cause of the fire, right now, investigators have ruled it as undetermined.

The Amarillo Fire Department will take over the investigation.