TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - It's a Tuesday morning at St. Ann's Catholic Church on Terre Haute's north side, and beams of sunlight pour through the building's stained glass windows.
Instead of the singing of a congregation or the hush of silent prayer, the sanctuary is filled with the sounds of moving crews carrying off the church's furnishings.
Two days before, the church celebrated its final Mass. Like other churches around Terre Haute, St. Ann's was closing, the latest in a series of church closures and consolidations approved by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis in 2011.
But while the parish's may be ending, Sister Constance Kramer, the church's parish life coordinator said its work is not.
"When you end one mission, you begin another," Sister Kramer said. "So today's the beginning of another mission for us: to help a little church rebuild so they can be in mission again with the people they serve."
That church is St. Luke's Catholic Church in Salyersville, Kentucky. On March 3, the church was leveled by a tornado.
"In five minutes, they lost their church, their parish house, their outreach center and their parish hall," Sister Kramer said.
Sister Kramer said she first learned of the situation at St. Luke's after searching for a place to send many of St. Ann's most precious possessions. In the end, St. Ann's decided to send a pulpit, baptismal font and church furniture to Salyersville along with tables, chairs, a refrigerator, a freezer and cooking equipment.
A group of ISU Football players, parishioners and moving crews loaded the equipment into a truck to ship to a storage facility in Kentucky. Sister Kramer said these items could make a significant difference in Salyersville.
"It's going to mean a whole bunch to them, because they feel cared for. They feel somebody's thinking of them," Kramer said. "It'll also save them a fair amount of money that they can use for other things they need."
Other items from the church are also being re-used: pews are being sent to a seminary, song books are being sent to a women's prison and crosses and statues are being sent to other churches around Terre Haute.
The church building itself will also get a new use as home of Catholic Charities' Christmas Store.
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