Last church in Churchville closing its doors - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Last church in Churchville closing its doors

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The parishioners of Assumption Church will have to find a new place to worship when the small church closes its doors on Labor Day. (Source: KCCI/CBS) The parishioners of Assumption Church will have to find a new place to worship when the small church closes its doors on Labor Day. (Source: KCCI/CBS)

CHURCHVILLE, IA (KCCI/CBS) - A Catholic church founded in 1890 is holding its last mass Sunday, ending a long tradition in a town whose name affirms its religious ties.

The Parish of the Assumption Church, Warren County's oldest Catholic parish, will no longer exist on Sept. 1.

The Des Moines Diocese decided to designate the building as a shrine. Former members can only hold mass once a month and on special occasions like holy days, weddings and funerals.

"It's very upsetting. It's kind of like a death," said Emily Cassady. "I always assumed that we were going to shut down because of the priest shortage. That's what we've always been told."

Cassady has been coming to the church for more than 15 years. Her husband, Dan, has been coming his whole life.

The current building was constructed in 1933. It is very small, very well-kept and nothing fancy.

"Very plain, it seats about 150," said Cassady.

For 40 families and about 50 mostly elderly people, every Sunday this church is home.

Cassady said the diocese wants the Churchville parishioners to move to bigger and more viable churches in the area where they can get a better church experience.

"I don't know what that means," said Cassady. "To drive past it every day, it's like somebody in your family dies having to see them, you know? You're seeing the death of your church every day when you drive by."

Copyright 2014 KCCI via CBS. All rights reserved.

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