Historic Massillon church, ravaged by fire, reopens on Christmas Eve

Posted at 10:38 PM, Dec 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-24 22:38:09-05

A church in Massillon, devastated by fire last year, has now reopened this Christmas Eve.

On Saturday, parishioners at St. Mary’s Catholic Church attended the first mass there in more than 16 months after flames gutted one of the rooms, but sparred the cathedral.

Much of the inside was covered in black soot and the damage took hundreds of hours of manpower to repair and cost nearly $3 million, Father Ed Gretchko said.

The reopening comes just in time for Christmas.

“So He’s going to be born in The Sacrament and The Gospel and He’s going to be born in our hearts in a temple that we came close to losing,” Father Gretchko said, “So there’s many tears of joy.”

Fire investigators never determined a caused of that blaze. The church is about 140 years old.