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Christ the King Masses, activities move to basement hall

Posted By September 16, 2016 | 12:06 pm | Local
Msgr. Thomas Sullivan, pastor of Christ the King Parish in Worcester, stands where patches of the ceiling finish have fallen down.  Photo by Tanya Connor
Msgr. Thomas Sullivan, pastor of Christ the King Parish in Worcester, stands where patches of the ceiling finish have fallen down. Photo by Tanya Connor

WORCESTER – Christ the King parishioners have been “terrific” about having to worship in the church hall, the pastor, Msgr. Thomas J. Sullivan, said this week, after part of the church ceiling fell last week.
Since the church at 1052 Pleasant St. and the room adjoining it cannot be used right now, about 280 chairs have been set up in the hall in the basement, where all Masses except funerals are being held, the pastor said. He said parishioners have commented, “We’re so close together now; it’s so nice.”
Funerals will be held at Blessed Sacrament Church, 555 Pleasant St., or other nearby churches, he said. He said St. George Parish has offered its space.
Times for Masses, confessions and the nine-week Novena to St. Joseph, also being held in the hall, have not changed, he said. Worshippers can enter through the lower-level door between the church and rectory.
First Communion classes resume Sunday, other religious education classes have been postponed and the Alpha course and CYC show were cancelled, Msgr. Sullivan said. The three Scout groups are meeting in other locations. Small parish groups will use the conference room in the church basement. The two AA groups will continue to meet in the rectory.
The ceiling problem started six years ago, some of the ceiling fell three years ago, and now it is time to replace the whole ceiling, Msgr. Sullivan said. He said he did not know if other work will also be done, and what it will cost.
“It’s called a popcorn ceiling,” a stucco-like material that is sprayed on, he said. When it falls, it scatters.
Cole Construction is tearing down the ceiling and decisions have not been made about who will do future work, he said.
Msgr. Sullivan said they are exploring the attic to investigate the cause of the damage and to consider what kind of replacement materials they should use.