Parishioners at St. John Vianney are determined to rebuild after an April 16 arson attack destroyed their Hacienda Heights, Calif. church.
"The church is completely destroyed, I mean down to ashes and dust. The pews, organ, everything," parish pastor Msgr. Tim Nichols told the 5 p.m. Sunday Mass. He presented remnants of the altar and tabernacle and said only a few vessels and vestments were saved.
"The church that (founding pastor) Msgr. James O'Callaghan built is gone. But we're going to build another one, okay?" he said, causing fervent applause. "We will rise again."
The Mass was celebrated in a parish hall on the church property that is typically used for wedding receptions and other events. More than 1,000 people attended.