Partial Roof Collapse at Moorhead Church A “Miracle” No One Was Hurt
it fell because of heavy snow in Sunday morning
MOORHEAD, Minn. — Around nine Sunday morning, heavy snow caused a partial roof collapse at Saint Francis de Sales Church in Moorhead.
Luckily, services had been canceled.
From her wedding, to her daughter’s Quinceañera, to even getting some help with her son’s alcoholism struggles, St. Francis de Sales has always seemed to be there for Ada Ramirez over the last 18 years.
“It means a lot and I can’t express it all in a couple of minutes how much it means to me to be a part of St. Francis de Sales,” Ramirez said.
But now she’s trying to be there for her parish, praying for the church and hoping that it will be able to get through a partial roof collapse.
A section of the roof fell into what used to be the Father Ketter Prairie Center, an area the church used for celebrations.
But St. Francis de Sales cancelled mass and a Boy Scout french toast breakfast that was supposed to be held inside the center because of the weather.
Now some are calling it miracle no one was inside.
“Well you almost have to think that. It’s divine intervention somehow that helped us along because there could have been many dozens of people in the dining room,” said Swede Stelzer, parish administrative coordinator.
“That’s a blessing that that happened because who knows who would’ve gotten hurt, children because they come with their families so yes that’s a blessing,” Ramirez said.
Stelzer says it was also a blessing to have about 20 people rush to help the church when they needed it the most.
“We had a lot of volunteers that were shoveling snow off the still–standing roof and we had to try to salvage what was left of the building. We had electricians and HVAC people and plumbers,” Stelzer said.
The gas line to the second half of the building and the water line were cut. St. Francis de Sales is now using temporary electric heaters. Seltzer says right now, it looks like the church may not have services for the next couple of weeks. Ramirez says she has no doubt St. Francis will be able to get through this.
“We are a very strong community here at Saint Francis de Sales. And as you see, today, Monday, everybody is here,” Ramirez said.
Moorhead’s St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, and Fargo’s Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have offered up their spaces to Saint Francis de Sales as the church tries to cleanup and rebuild.