First Look Inside St. Casimir Before Sunday’s Re-opening Mass


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CLEVELAND -- It looks so good, it's hard to believe it has been closed for more than two years.

Fox 8 got a sneak peek inside St. Casimir's Monday on the city's near east side before the church celebrates its re-opening mass on Sunday.

"That altar is what I call the 'wedding cake' altar," says Father Eric Orzech, who has been tapped by Bishop Richard Lennon to lead the new parish (he will also continue serving at another parish in Cleveland).

The diocese says it hopes to have the 11 parishes the Vatican ordered restored back up and running by the end of July.

At St. Casimir, a small group of the faithful has held prayer vigils outside the ethnic Polish church every Sunday since it was closed as part of a diocese consolidation.

"They're certainly God's warriors,' Father Orzech says.

But Father Orzech doesn't dwell on the church closings ordered by Bishop Lennon, or parishioners going to the Vatican to have them restored.

"The controversy is at a level above me," he says, "and the bishop has been very supportive and wants everything to be fine."

Father Orzech looks around the magnificent church, and says quietly, "God's done his part; now, it's time for us to do ours."

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