Parishioners of St. Mary's Polish Church are vowing to rebuild after a fire destroyed their 100-year-old building Saturday.
Cape Breton Regional Police got the call for help at 12:18 p.m.
Neighbours and parishioners watched as flames tore through the building on Wesley Street.
Two hours later, there was nothing left but rubble.
"It's beyond shocking," said Tom Urbaniak, president of the parish council.
He said parishioners will gather at the Polish Village Hall on Sunday for mass.
"What I'm hearing is that it's not going to end like this and that sign that was untouched in front of the building that's destroyed will be the cornerstone for rebuilding."
The sign fell into the rubble, but firefighters plan to look for it once the area cools down.
Firefighters kept the flames from spreading to nearby homes and the Royal Canadian Legion across the street. A number of fire departments helped or were on standby.
Municipal officials have rerouted a portion of Saturday's Santa Claus parade so people stay away from the area.
The cause of the fire at the church is under investigation.