Despite Opposition, Leaders Move Forward on New Melrose Church After Fire

February 11, 2018 11:05 PM

After much debate and despite a lawsuit aiming to preserve the 120-year-old building following a fire, church officials say they will move forward with plans to build a new Church of St. Mary in Melrose.

Arson investigators say the parish's church was intentionally set on fire two years ago.


RELATED: Nonprofit Sues St. Cloud Diocese to Stop Demolition of Historic Melrose Church

Since then, a debate on whether to restore the old church or build a new one divided the small town.

On Sunday, church leaders unveiled to parishioners plans to build a new $8 million church near the current one, after the archdiocese told the parish the building couldn't be saved.

"It's tough to have parishioners at odds with each other, but I can certainly understand why there are those who want to retain the historic buildings," parishioner Joan Meyer said.

A group of parishioners sued the church and the Archdiocese of Saint Cloud in an effort to stop St. Mary's from being demolished. The case remains pending.

RELATED: Melrose Parishioners Ask Why Restoring a Historic Church Isn't an Option

It's still unclear what will happen to the old church. 

Since the fire, parishioners at St. Mary's have been holding worship services in a nearby gym. 

No arrests have been made in arson case. 


Joe Mazan

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