Updated 03/18/2013 07:40 AM
Vigil held at St. Patrick's Church
For more than 100 years, parishioners have gathered at St. Patrick's Church in Watervliet to celebrate its namesake on the St. Patrick's holiday. The church closed in 2011 and is now in danger of being torn down. But as YNN's Maria Valvanis explains, that didn't stop a handful of protestors from holding their annual celebration, even if this will mark the final time.
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WATERVLIET, N.Y. -- Michael Alund said, "I came down here to look at this church one more time in case we do actually lose it."
Just as the sun began to set, people of all ages lit a light of hope, for the future of the St. Patrick's Church.
"Although this is the 11th hour, we are still hopeful that we're going to be able to move forward and achieve a positive result in the preserving the Church of St. Patrick," said Christine Bulmer, of Citizens for St. Patrick's.
The St. Patrick's Day vigil marked what was expected to be the end of a long fight one way or another.
Citizens for St. Patrick's is a group that formed to try and save the church, after it was sold to a construction company last year. Bobcats sitting on the front lawn are a clear reminder of the company's plans to demolish the building and build a grocery store in its place. But members from Citizens for St. Patrick's say they will be filing papers Monday morning, with hopes the judge rules an injunction.
Member Eileen Anderson said, "It's the only building in Watervliet that stood here for over 120 years and has been an anchor for our community."
"We remain optimistic; we remain hopeful. We've had some setbacks in the courts that we disagree at this point," said Bulmer.
And it's that optimism that kept protestors warm Sunday night, as they snapped what they hope won't be their last pictures and wished for a St. Patrick's Day miracle.
"We're hoping we can look back and say thank goodness we didn't tear down that magnificent building," said Anderson.
Alund said, "This church is so close to my heart. It's so much more than brick and mortar. It's part of a people."