Almost 50-year-old church may be torn down, Alma residents speak out

Catholic church in Alma may soon be demolished. (Photo credit: Amanda Chodnicki)

The almost 50-year-old Saint Mary's Catholic Church in Alma may soon be torn down.

Many parishioners are upset and working to keep that from happening.

From bats to roof issues to poor attendance, officials said the church just isn't in good shape.

Right now, parish leadership said it may be too long of a list to fix.

At Tuesday night's forum, parishioners came out to both share their opinions and ask questions.

While many said they're aware the church is old and not up to code, they said they have yet to hear how much it would cost to fix their church, their home.

Some said they grew up in that church and disagree with the board's recommendation to demolish it.

"I've been a parishioner since I was 11 years old," Lupe Ramirez of Alma said. "I made my first communion there, raised all my kids there, I got grandkids and great grandkids now. My house is not up to code. It's 100 years old. Am I gonna tear it down? No. I gotta fix whatever I can."

Others said it's just a building and the church should be about being a community.

"Jesus Christ himself said that wherever two are gathered in my name, I am there," Joanna Devine, a parishioner with Nativity of the Lord Parish, said. "So it doesn't have to be in a building"

The church will be holding two more listening sessions at Mount Saint Joseph Hall within the coming weeks.

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