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WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 15, 2011, 06:50 PM

Parishioners plan to fight relocation

Horace, ND (WDAY TV) - The Catholic Diocese in Fargo is finalizing plans to close a church near Horace, but the parishioners aren't ready to let go of the more than one hundred years of history built into the walls of Saint Benedict's Catholic Church.

The Catholic Diocese in Fargo is finalizing plans to close a church near Horace, but the parishioners aren't ready to let go of the more than one hundred years of history built into the walls of Saint Benedict's Catholic Church.

The Diocese wants to serve a growing population. They say to do that they want to move the parish to 64th Avenue and County Road 17 in Horace. But parishioners aren't giving up on saving their church without a fight.

"There's some people here that came with the pioneers and are still here..."

Raymond Rheault and Tom Kenville are parishioners wanting to continue to worship right where they are.

Tom Kenville – Parishioner: "Part of the reorganization and so forth and one of the options was to tear this church down. Fargo is moving here. They are going to be here in 5 or ten years. What's the rush?"

But Officials at the Catholic Diocese in Fargo are firm-this parish won't stay.

Tanya Watterud – Diocese Communications: "It's a real opportunity for the people to look at how they can meet the needs of all those families that are coming in."

Raymond walks us into a beautiful building, beloved by more than 200 families who worship here. This 100 year-old building houses millions of memories. Stained glass windows show names of the church's founders in French. Refurbished pews, an organ from the 1940's, and an original altar.

Kenville - "Well we are not a wealthy church, but we don't have any debt. None. Zero. When we need to do something we get the power of the church together, explain it to them, and get it done."

The congregation as a whole has collected thousands of dollars to upkeep the church and create memorials, and Raymond alone has put in thousands of hours to update the church.

Rheault- "I'm going to try and keep the church as far as I can go."

No one knows the fate of this church. It may be moved, or taken apart in pieces.

Rheault: "I've got a lot of people on my side."

Parishioners are proud of their church, and say they will do everything they can to see it stay.

Diocese officials say parishioners can participate in upcoming meetings to discuss the relocation.

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