St. Mary's Polish Church to reopen Sunday
100-year old church burned to the ground in November 2014
St. Mary's Polish Church in Whitney Pier, Cape Breton, has risen from the ashes following a spectacular fire that burned the 100-year-old building to the ground in November 2014.
The doors of the newly rebuilt church will reopen to the community during an open house on Sunday.
Tom Urbaniak, parish council chair, said the congregation is celebrating.
"It is exhilarating," he said.
Insurance paid for much of the reconstruction, but chalices, pews, a lectern and a stained glass window were all donated by local churches. An altar was donated by parishioners in Wisla, Man.
"Their whole parish and their larger community raised money and then hit the road with the altar and spent a week with us," Urbaniak said.
The new building has a modified Polish gothic style of architecture.
Despite some changes to the building, the Nova Scotia government has agreed to retain its heritage designation.
"One of the character-defining elements of the church was its continuing use by people of Polish heritage for spiritual and cultural purposes," Urbaniak said.
"So there was an important intangible element."
The open house on Sunday runs from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The official mass of consecration happens on Sunday, July 3, at 2 p.m.