This has been a long time coming.
Some readers may remember I first reported on this remarkable undertaking a decade ago. The idea: to dismantle a shuttered Catholic church in Buffalo and move it, brick by brick, to a lot in Georgia.
The plan hit a few roadblocks along the way, but something close to that original vision is about to be realized:
“I would like to think the people (in the parish) will be happy because they’ve been planning this church for many years,” said Mary Our Queen pastor, Father Darragh Griffith. “The people have been waiting and putting a lot of effort into it, so hopefully they’ll see it as a beautiful church and we’ll grow and build after it’s dedicated.”
After years of planning, Mary Our Queen Catholic Church is in the process of building its new sanctuary, which is a replica of the Roman Basilica-style St. Gerard’s Catholic Church in Buffalo, N.Y.
Mary Our Queen officials broke ground on their new home last fall, with the Archdiocese of Atlanta’s official newspaper, The Georgia Bulletin, reporting at the time that it was estimated to be a $6.8 million construction project.
…At one time, the plan had been to dismantle St. Gerard’s brick by brick and move it down to Peachtree Corners where it would be rebuilt on the church’s property. The Buffalo-based parish celebrated its last mass Jan. 1, 2008, and it was not long after that when Mary Our Queen, then led by Father David Dye, came up with the idea of raising money to move the church to Peachtree Corners.
In the end, however, the church opted to buy St. Gerard’s stained-glass windows, pews and altar and move those pieces to Georgia for use in the new church building.
“It’s like taking old wine and putting it into new wineskins if you like,” Griffith said. “It’s something different. It’s something new. I haven’t heard of it before, to do this, so it’s going to be interesting and challenging — and hopefully beautiful because they had beautiful stained-glass windows, pews and altars and other artifacts (at St. Gerard’s).”