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Catholic Church in Schuylkill County to be sold

Mary, Queen of Peace on North Centre Street in Pottsville is closing for good and will soon be up for sale.

POTTSVILLE, Pa. — The former Mary, Queen of Peace parish building has stood along North Centre Street in Pottsville since 1928. But representatives from the Catholic Diocese of Allentown say the building will officially close on May 14. All church artifacts and furnishings will be removed before the building is listed for sale.

"I didn't realize that it was going to be up for sale or that it won't be used," said Brian Mack, who lives across the street.

The diocese says the building has seen little use since 2008; the year regular masses stopped at the church.

When Mary, Queen of Peace parish merged with St. Patrick's parish, St. Patrick's took over the building. But it's only been used for one mass per year or if Mary, Queen of Peace parishioners wanted to have a funeral there.

"That has not been requested as of late, and the building maintenance is getting costly."

St. Patrick's pastor told the diocese that his parishioners could no longer afford to maintain the building. Several councils and the bishop agreed. Neighbors tell Newswatch 16 they'll be sad to see it go, but some were surprised it took this long.

Mack says he's unsure of what a sale could mean for his community.

"I always have concerns about what could be in the neighborhood. I mean, you never know. Where I'm at, it's quiet. Everybody looks out for each other. So, you always have concerns."

Mack feels the building could be used as a shelter for homeless veterans, but whatever happens, he doesn't want to see it knocked down.

"I got to say, I'm a lapsed Catholic. It's something I haven't done it as often as I should've, but I do hold a special place for the church in my heart. Even if it's not used at all and just left as is, it's a monument to what used to be."

If the building sells, the diocese says St. Patrick's parish will retain all proceeds.