Sea Isle City Church Spared Demolition
Parishioners of a historic Catholic church in Sea Isle City are relieved it won't be torn down.
St. Joseph's Catholic Church, located on Landis Avenue in the shore town, was built in 1884. In 2011, a second building was put up right next to St. Joseph's, reportedly to accommodate the large numbers of worshipers.
The addition really compliments the existing church, and there have probably been thousands of beautiful moments that have taken place inside that hold special memories for so many.
But in the last decade, former Sea Isle City Mayor Michael McHale, who himself belongs to the church, tells 6abc.com that original church was not very well taken care of. "We were able to raise $2.5 million to build the new addition to this historic church. But then, once we got into the new church, we weren't allowed to use this church anymore and it fell in disrepair over the last 10 years."
Reportedly, the historic church developed mold too dangerous for anyone to be exposed to. Although the mold has recently been remediated, parishioner Andrew Bednarek tells 6abc.com there is still a lot of work to be done to keep St. Joseph's in good standing with the city. "We also need to raise funds to maintain the structure once it's put in shape," says Bednarek. "So, this is not a one-and-done. This is a long-term effort to preserve and protect these sacred structures from the wrecking ball. It's our responsibility to carry this forward to future generations."
Even if all masses need to continue to be held in the newer building by St. Joseph's, parishioners hope that original church can eventually become a venue for other events, such as live music and meditation.
If you'd like join the plight of the members of St. Joseph's in Sea Isle, and help it survive, donations can be made to the 'Save St. Joe's Historic Church' fund. For further info, visit its Facebook page.