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Phoenix congregation not letting St. Joseph's Catholic Church fire prevent them from celebrating Mass

Posted at 5:01 PM, May 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-05 22:21:02-04

PHOENIX — It's been less than a week since St. Joseph's Catholic Church caught fire in North Phoenix.

PHOTOS: Blaze destroys Phoenix church overnight

Since the fire, parishioners have attended Mass every day in one of the remaining buildings next to the wreckage.

"This is our emergency church, chapel and place of worship," Father Reggie Carreon said.

Hundreds attended both Sunday services at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Not everyone could fit inside the building that was used, so chairs and tents were set up outside.

Parishioners ABC15 spoke with say they don't mind where Mass is held. "If you read the Bible there was never a sermon given in a church so it doesn't matter where," Robert Marion, who attended Mass, said.

"It makes me emotional." "My sons took first communion at this church and were confirmed," said Elizabeth Los who attended Sunday Mass after hearing about the fire. "When I heard what had happened I felt like I needed to come."

"It was sad. People are sad. There are a lot of memories in this church," said Father Fredrick Adamson.

Father Carreon says they're making due with what they have. He says they have plans to rebuild, but the entire process could take two to three years.

In the mean time, they're looking into the possibility of renting a space at a neighboring facility.

Fire crews spent hours early Wednesday battling the flames as they ripped through the decades-old church.

Aerials over the scene on Wednesday morning showed extensive damage to the entire building, which reportedly just underwent some renovations. Luckily, no injuries were reported during the blaze.

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, and authorities are continuing to investigate exactly what may have sparked the flames.