OBSERVER Staff Writer
BROCTON - After the heartbreaking devastation to a cherished church, a community is doing its best to see the hope on the horizon.
It has been over a month since the Tri-Church Parish congregation lost their house of worship, and with it years and years of memories, which can't ever be replaced.
But the congregation is starting to get into a rhythm at St. Dominic's Roman Catholic Church, which became the new home for the congregation that had lost everything.
The building for St. Dominic's became vacant after the Diocese of Buffalo consolidated some of the area Catholic churches back in 2007.
Jeff Planty, chairman of the Tri-Church Parish, said everyone is still in the beginning stages of what to do with their beloved church.
"Right now we don't know if the church is salvageable," Planty said. "That will come later down the road."
Planty said the congregation continues to stay strong and continues to worship.
"The most important thing right now is that we continue to stay strong and we continue to worship," he said. "St. Dominics has helped keep us strong."
Planty said he had enjoyed worshipping at the church as a child and had returned to the church after moving away before the fire destroyed everything.
"We are still alive," he said. "The main thing we want the community to know is we are still going strong after this tragedy."
Tri-Church Parish Sec-retary of Administration Susan Hardy said it was a blessing when all the churches in the area offered to help.
"We are a wonderful community and we haven't lost one of our members," she said. "It is nice to have a place to worship just down the road from our old church."
Hardy said St. Dominics has been very welcoming.
"St. Dominics had signs welcoming us as brothers and sisters in Christ," she said. "We are so grateful to them and pleased be there."
Hardy said the congregation had many memories of Tri-Church Parish.
"People were baptized and married in that church," she said. "They are searching for photos to see what everything use to look like before the fire."
Tri-Church Parish Pastor Kevin Connolly couldn't be reached for comment. In an article on the Upper New York Annual Conference website in which he was interviewed, he said it was a "shock that feels like a fog around your head" when he heard about the fire.
The cause of the Nov. 3 fire is still under investigation.
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