UPPER DARBY, Pa. (CBS) -- Saint Laurence Church held its first mass back in the newly renovated space after being closed for three years due to construction and asbestos mitigation.
Parishioners rejoiced and filled the pews of the upper church on West Chester Pike Sunday morning.
For the past three years, mass celebrations were moved to a lower church while thewere made in the upper church.
The community banded together together to get the church back on its feet and raised a whopping $1.7 million for the repairs.
Father Tom Whittingham said the church's vibrant Latino community got creative while raising the money.
"The different families from different countries would sponsor every week or every other week. They would grill or cook or bake or fry -- whatever it was -- people chose to buy it as a way of supporting this project," he said.
"A lot of people thought it couldn't be done, but it's been done. Thanks be to God," a parishioner said.
"Yeah there's a lot of love in this place," another parishioner said.
The repairs included a new ceiling, a renovated sanctuary, new lighting and audio systems, plus a fresh paint job.
Parishioners are now saying their new ceiling is a lesson of faith, showing them the sky is the limit!
for more features.