The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary has one road leading to it and one road leading away on Oil City's northside. Its rich history in the historically predominate Polish neighborhood echoes in its sanctuary and is etched in stone in a nearby Polish Heritage Park.
Also tucked away in the "From the Pastor's Desk" section of the Oil City Catholic community's bulletin from October 4, is news that this piece of history will soon be torn down.
"This is heartbreaking news, as many people’s sacramental lives occurred at Assumption," the pastor's message read. Efforts to find new owners for the building failed, leaving the parish to embark on a hard course of action.
"Given the precarious condition of the facility, our limited financial resources, and the lack of use of the former church building for over a year now, in consultation with the parish Finance Council and in accord with the locally developed pastoral plan, we have made the difficult decision to demolish former Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church," the bulletin continued.
Kim Fornof, the financial administrator for St. Joseph's Church said there is no plans for the property other than green space. "The parking lot will remain because it is used by the St. Elizabeth's Center," she said. The house across the street that is used by the sisters of the Catholic Rural Ministry will also remain.
She went on to say the decision made by the Catholic community was not made lightly.
The demolition has been awarded to Klapec at $50,000. Work is expected to start once inspections and permits have been obtained. The estimated timeline to begin is two months.
On social media several people commented about the loss of the more than a century old church.
"So much history just a wrecking ball away."
"So sad, what a beautiful Church."
"My gram would've been devastated."
Father John Miller, who penned the pastor's message, continued to assure his flock what it means to be a church. "At times like this we need to remember that the Church is not the building, the Church is, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, the People of God, the Body of Christ, and the Temple of the Holy Spirit. "
"It's unfortunate, but it's what has to be done," said Fornof.