- Associated Press - Friday, September 12, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - The St. Josaphat Roman Catholic Church in Detroit is reopening almost 10 months after a storm damaged its 200-foot-tall steeple.

Parishioners will return to the landmark church on Saturday and Sunday for Mass following repairs to the steeple and roof, which was partially torn off by 60-70 mph winds during the November storm. The winds knocked off slate shingles, shifted the bricks and left the 113-year-old steeple lopsided.

Kevin Piotrowski, council president of Mother of Divine Mercy Parish, which includes St. Josaphat and two other churches, said there is a lot of excitement about the upcoming weekend.

“We’re getting ready for our big reopening. … It’s been 10 months in the making,” told the Detroit Free Press. “The steeple is beautiful … The steeple is stronger now than the day it was built.”

The cost of the repairs is estimated at more than $500,000, Piotrowski said, and the parish is still raising money.

“We didn’t know if we were even going to be able to repair the steeple,” he said. “All we knew is the storms came through, tore that steeple up, and the city of Detroit closed the building … there were so many unanswered questions.”

Parishoners will be able to reconnect at the Romanesque-style church after months of attending services at other churches, according to Piotrowski.

“That church is not a museum. It is a living community of faith, and we not only invite all of our parishioners to come back, but we invite … everybody who wants to come celebrate mass in a beautiful historic church,” he said.

The church was completed in 1901 and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1982.

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