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Church Destroyed

Church Destroyed

On Sept. 10, 2004 a powerful blast destroyed the St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, just before 7am, shaking nearby buildings and sending debris hundreds of feet from the church. Although parishioners were heartbroken, they knew the explosion could have been much worse. That Friday, more than 30 people would have been inside preparing the pierogies for the Stamford festival. No injuries and all workers at St. Mary’s were safe, including pastor Rev. Kiril Manolev and his family. Rev. Manolev, his pregnant wife, Susan, and their young son live in a home adjacent to the church and were evacuated safely.

The Rev. Michael Giannitelli, pastor of St. Andrew, opened its doors to St. Mary’s, offering the church its space and its services until St. Marys can be rebuilt. After the Mass, St. Andres’s parishioners hosted a dinner of chicken and pasta for their neighbors. “It’s an unbelievable gesture,” said Tina Inferrera, a St. Mary’s parishioner. “It just shows that when something devastating happens, how good people are.” We have received many acts of kindness from individuals, St. Andrews Roman Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus chapters, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Synagogues, other Christian Churches to name a few.