18 months after fire, St. Monica rebuilds and reopens
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A year and a half after an electrical fire destroyed part of a north side Catholic church, St. Monica is set to reopen this weekend.
Saturday evening mass will be held at 5 p.m. in a new church that cost $1.6 million to rebuild.
“I think it’s beautiful,” seventh grade St. Monica student Georgia Trisler said. “This is where I worship, and this is where I go to church, and this where I meet new people. I feel like it’s my second home.”
The Sept. 2015 fire didn’t stop Georgia and her classmates from going to school at St. Monica. In fact, students set up dozens of chairs to turn the school’s gym into a temporary chapel during the renovations.
“It’s just so meaningful to me that everyone cares so much about the church,” Trisler said.
Church leaders said repairs and renovations combined cost about $4 million. Insurance covered about $2.3 million, and community members donated about $1.9 million to cover the rest.
Mary Jo Thomas-Day is St. Monica’s director of religious education.
“It’s been a long process, but the changes are beautiful,” Thomas-Day said. “Some people, because being in the gym was uncomfortable, they would go to another, which I understand. But we’re hoping they will all come back and worship with us.”
The church will host a volunteer work day Saturday at 8 a.m. for the finishing touches.