Your letters - June 1 edition
St. Mary's should be restored
An arsonist set fire and caused considerable damage to the magnificent St. Mary's Church in Melrose on March 11, 2016. Thankfully, about 90 firefighters bravely extinguished the fire, removing sacred relics to rebuild the interior.
The day after the fire, Bishop Kettler told "The Visitor" newspaper, "We're all family and we're sharing the hurt and the loss and praying for them. We'll stand with them through all this." Bishop told "St. Cloud Times," "we will do everything we can to get things restored as quickly as possible." In September 2016, as the parish could afford to restore the structurally sound historic church, the parish voted 399 (94 percent) to restore St. Mary's and 25 (6 percent) to build a new church.
My husband and I attended a peaceful assembly to restore St. Mary's of Melrose at the St. Cloud Cathedral on Saturday, April 15, throughout the full Easter Vigil, praying the rosary with two petite, senior ladies leading. Bishop Donald Kettler, a man at least twice their size, came up and told the ladies to "stop praying." They stopped immediately. He said, "I will meet with some of you later." He entered the cathedral for the service and we finished the rosary. It was after midnight when lights were shut off and the bishop never came out to meet with the parishioners, who understandably returned to Melrose very disappointed.
Please, Bishop Kettler, don't carry through what the arsonist started and wanted destroyed. St. Mary's, Melrose's only National Register of Historic Places building, can still be restored to its original irreplaceable beauty. Please keep your promises and listen to the 94 percent of St. Mary's in Melrose.