BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — It’s a sad and solemn Saturday afternoon, as Holy Angels Church - which has served congregations on Buffalo’s west side for more than 150 years - holds its final mass.
"I was baptized here, made my first communion here, stood up for three of my cousins' weddings here. My mother was buried from this church, it means a lot to us and it's a very sad day," said Elaine Lydon.
It's particularly difficult for this family; a number of their weddings, graduations, funerals and baptisms happened at this church.
"It's been our life. My first communion, confirmation, graduation from here. College, I went to D'Youville College, so we used to walk over here," said JoAnn Bargnesi.
For them it's a place linked to so many memories. The family gathers one last time at Holy Angels, reminiscing about the past.
"My cousins and I cam to pay our last respects and light our last candle at this church," said Lydon.
JoAnn sat down at the church where she married her husband 58 years ago.
"All our children were baptized here," she said
Church leaders said the reasons for closing the church are primarily financial.
For this family, Holy Angels will always be home.
"With my whole family being involved it really became a center of our life in their earlier years. Then after [my] military service and other things we drifted away. But we always knew in the back of our minds it was here for us," said Jack Meci.