Mt. Vernon Church to be Torn Down

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By Matthew Searcy

MT. VERNON -- One of the oldest churches in Jefferson County is set to be torn down later this week. On Sunday, members of Saint Mary's Catholic Church in Mt. Vernon said their goodbyes to the nearly 100 -year-old building. 

"This is a place where people gathered to pray for 92 years," said Father John Iffert. "That's a real loss. That's a true loss." 
 
The 1921 building served several generations of Catholics in Mt. Vernon before closing down last year. The congregation had outgrown the space.
 
"We had a special mass where we said goodbye to that building," explained Iffert. "We held the last mass there and sealed the doors and we haven't been in that building since." 
 
The church has since been replaced by a newer and bigger model. The building remains a large part of the St. Mary's community. 
 
"It's home but I realize we have got to let things go," said churchgoer Dee Schreiber.  "A lot of happy memories. I went to St. Mary's school. Memories of my grandparents bringing me to church." 
 
"My fondest memory is singing in the choir," explained churchgoer Billie Munie.  
 
Church leaders say the decision was difficult, but upkeep for the old church was getting too costly.    
"A lot of maintenance had been deferred for a number of years," explained Iffert. 
 
Tearing down the building will not only save the congregation money, but the new area will eventually be used to help expand the St. Mary's grade school campus.  
 
"It will be used for parking on Sundays and hard and soft surface playground for our school the rest of the week," said Iffert.  
 
The church will be torn down later this week, but parts of the building will be reused. Contractors plan to use the parts to add on to a wedding chapel in Eldorado.  

 

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