- Associated Press - Monday, July 7, 2014

MOUNT VERNON, Ill. (AP) - Members of one of the oldest churches in southern Illinois’ Jefferson County are saying farewell to the nearly century-old building.

St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Mount Vernon is scheduled be torn down this week. Maintenance costs on the building were growing and a preservation effort stalled.

On Sunday, a special Mass was held to say goodbye to the old church, which dates back to 1921. The congregation meets for services now in a new, bigger church, dedicated last year.

Statues and artifacts from the old church have been moved to the new one. The lot will become parking and an expansion of the St. Mary’s school playground. Bricks and beams from the old church will be see new life in a wedding chapel in the southern Illinois community of Eldorado.

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