Beloit Catholic Church closed indefinitely after fire
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – The Beloit Police Department has identified two minors in connection with a fire at a church in Beloit as insurance continues to assess the damage. For now, the community is paying the price, as the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Roman Catholic Church is closed indefinitely after the fire on Sunday evening.
“The church is immensely, extremely precious, immensely, extremely important to the community, to myself through my own story of God’s calling in my life,” said Father Jarett Konrade. “So the idea that there would be a fire, the idea of the possibility of loss was extremely frightening and extremely overwhelming emotionally. I know there was a good one, probably 30 to 50 people gathered outside on the ground to watch and obviously a lot, a lot of worry, even some people bursting into tears.
The fire spared the exterior of the church and most of the damage was confined to the upstairs library.
“I don’t know how many times I have heard, ‘it could have been Notre-Dame’,” Fr Konrade said, referring to the 2019 fire at the historic Paris cathedral. “We are extremely blessed that it was no worse.”
The cost is unknown, but at this time the church cannot host experiences that you cannot put a price on.
“I’ve had two funerals, two upcoming weddings, so it’s going to be a big question mark,” Fr Konrad said.
For now, the church will be holding the funeral in the gymnasium of Beloit Junior-Senior high school.
As of now, there is no timeline for when the Saint John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church will reopen for mass.
If you would like to help the church with cleaning and repairs, call (785) 738-2851.
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