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Kentwood fire destroys St. Mary Magdalen Church | News

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Kentwood fire destroys St. Mary Magdalen Church
Kentwood fire destroys St. Mary Magdalen Church

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM)- The Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids says a church destroyed by an overnight fire will be rebuilt.

The fire gutted Saint Mary Magdalen Church in Kentwood. No one was hurt and the diocese has insurance. Bishop Hurley surveyed the damage this afternooon. He says there is a silver lining to the loss.

Bishop Hurley says, "Some of St. Mary Magdalen's parishoners learned about the loss of their church when they arrived for service. Others came to show their support."

The Catholic Diocese of West Michigan says there are 1100 families that attend St. Mary Magdalen Church. Parishioners are being told to attend mass at either St. John Vianney in Wyoming or Holy Family Church in Caledonia.

Members who normally were attending church, mourned the loss of 'their second home' from outside. 

Member Lesley Jeruzal says, "We're going to mourn the loss of this building but it's not the loss of our church."

Melissa DeSota says, "It's hard not to acknowledge a beautiful piece of our history is gone, it's a piece of Kentwood's history too." 

Melissa DeSota's parents were founding members. With both parents now gone, today's loss is all the more painful. 

DeSota says, "I have a picture at my home of me, walking out of church with my certificate from my first communion my mother was walking behind me set in the backdrop was the church."

Benny Hardouin, a Hurricane Katrina refugee, moved to the area with just a drum set. Which was destroyed in Sunday's fire.

Benny Hardouin says, "These were special. These were not just a set of drums, I've had them since I was 17 years old, they're over 50 years old, it's a part of me like losing a family member." 

But not all hope is gone-- one drum cymbal survived along with a cross from the church.

Hardouin says, "That will be the symbol that things can be rebuilt." 

Fire investigators on not releasing the cause of the fire. They say it's too early in the investigation.