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Polish Hill Community Goes On With Festival Despite Damage To Church

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Dantonio, Christine WEB 2014 Christine D'Antonio
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The weather hit Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Polish Hill earlier this week – literally.

Lightning struck the church’s dome and caused plenty of damage, including water damage from fire crews’ hoses. But the weather and cleanup hasn’t dampened the spirits of the congregation.

Mother Nature may have singed Immaculate Heart of Mary Church on Polish Hill, but it only brought the congregation of 600 families even closer.

“It goes to show that it’s a parish that sticks together despite the fact of what happened they still planned to do this,” said Fr. Joseph Swierczynski.

The “this” Fr. Swierczynski is talking about is the church’s annual festival, which is held the third Saturday of July – no matter what.

“We’re just very happy that today the crowds came out to support the church,” said Ruth Rizner, a church member. “It really meant a lot to us after the fire the other day. It’s heartwarming to us that everybody showed up.”

It was during last Tuesday’s storms that a bolt of lightning struck the center dome of the over 100-year-old landmark. It caused $40,000 worth of damage, but Mass still went on this weekend.

“I’m so glad everything went so well and it was a beautiful bazaar and the church was full of people,” Dorothy Sinicka, another church member, said.

It’s a proud community with a deep faith showing that the church and its members aren’t going anywhere.

“I think it brought a lot of people together to commune, to rebuild the church,” said Patricia Plakosh, a former teacher at the parish’s now-closed school.

RELATED LINKS:
Lightning Strike Damages Landmark Polish Hill Church (7/17/13)
More Reports by Christine D’Antonio

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