Future of Groves Catholic church discussed after Harvey damages building

A church in Groves is weighing its options of rebuilding after Harvey and merging with a nearby Catholic church

GROVES - Saint Peter the Apostle Catholic Church is facing a lengthy and expensive repair after Tropical Storm Harvey.

The church had also sustained damage from hurricanes Ike and Rita.

Pam Guarnere was one of several members of St. Peter Church who wanted to hear information about the church’s future.

Guarnere has been a member of the church for thirty years, and married her husband at St. Peter. She says the building has significant damage.

"It's been a lot of repairs as you've heard over the years and the roof leaks every time we have a storm. So we need to merge, we need to be in a building that will sustain itself,"

Merging with Immaculate Conception Catholic Church remains an option. The church is less than three miles from St. Peter.

Father J.C. Coon says that estimates of Harvey damage repairs total $105,000.

Damage from Hurricane Rita totaled over $1,661,000, which was mostly paid for by insurance. After Hurricane Ike, St. Peter suffered over $63,000 in total damages. Only $103 was paid for by insurance while $63,750 was paid for by the Parish.

"The idea of just putting a little money in the collection, hoping it'll sustain all our costs, it’s really not. It helps a little bit but most of the time you see, we the church are having to throw fundraisers," Father Coon said during Monday’s meeting at Immaculate Conception.

Guarnere admires the church's efforts to stay open. Guarnere thinks merging with Immaculate Conception could be a better choice.

"I've never been one to hold onto things. We just need to go forward, we can't go backward," Guarnere said.

According to the Catholic Diocese of Beaumont website, St. Peter holds 840 families while Immaculate Conception holds 300.

More meetings discussing the church’s future will be held later, according to church leaders.

© 2017 KBMT-TV


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